October 21, 2011 — Sapphire substrate maker Rubicon Technology Inc. (NASDAQ:RBCN) will transition to on-premise aluminum oxide processing to better control the quality of its sapphire wafers, and reduce manufacturing expenses while ensuring a steady supply of raw materials.
Rubicon’s customized in-house method converts raw aluminum oxide powder so it can be used in the Rubicon ES2 crystal growth process. The powder is formed into various shapes to optimize crucible space, enabling growth of larger crystals.
Large-diameter wafer transitions are occuring around the light-emitting diode (LED) industry, noted Raja Parvez, Rubicon president and CEO, who explained that the larger wafers can be as much as 3x thicker than 2" to 4" wafers, requiring more aluminum oxide. To date, Rubicon has successfully shipped more than 150,000 6" sapphire wafers.
Advances in raw material handling combined with recent company-wide installation of enhancements to its proprietary crystal growth furnaces, Rubicon Furnace Version ES2-XLG3.0, delivers cost efficiencies for the production of large diameter sapphire. Rubicon