August 31, 2007 – Algan KK, a spinoff from Japan’s Doshisha U. building devices with aluminum gallium nitride (AlGaN) semiconductor materials, says it has developed a highly-sensitive and tunable sensor for UV radiation that’s twice as reliable as a silicon-based device, with anticipated application in the semiconductor industry, reports the Nikkei Business Daily.
The new sensor can handle exposure to powerful UV radiation and can detect a broad range of wavelengths within the UV band. Silicon-based sensors have a limited range and begin to lose sensitivity after a month, but the AlGaN sensors can operate for two months with no performance deterioration, detecting UV wavelengths shorter than 200nm, the paper notes. The company also can adjust the materials ratio to make custom sensors for specific wavelengths, e.g. 360nm light.
The company plans to market the new sensors as early as this year as a device that can monitor wavelength and strength of UV light used in circuitry patterning, and shorter wavelength UV light used to wash chips, the paper notes. Pricing is to be set at ~10,000 yen (US ~$86), with projected sales of 100 million yen (about $865,000) in the next fiscal year.