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Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing Hub

UCL key partner in new EPSRC Hub
Compound Semiconductor Manufacturing Hub

Prof Sir Pepper & Prof Liu

A £10m award announced on 5th December puts UCL at the forefront of research into cutting-edge Compound Semiconductor (CS) technologies.

The funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) will bring UK academics and industry together into a hub of CS manufacturing expertise.

The EPSRC Manufacturing Hub in Future Compound Semiconductors, is a partnership between UCL and three other academics partners, the University of Cardiff (lead), the University of Manchester and the University of Sheffield and will work closely with the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC) at Cardiff and global advanced semiconductor wafer manufacturer IQE.

A further 26 initial companies and organisations allied to the Hub will help capitalise on the £50m CS Applications Catapult announced by Innovate UK in January.

Silicon once supported the information society, but the technology is reaching fundamental limits in the 21st Century. Applying CS know-how to silicon manufacturing techniques will form the central focus for the new venture.

UCL Professor of Semiconductor Photonics, Huiyun Liu who is leading the UCL work of the Hub alongside Professor Sir Michal Pepper, Professor Alwyn Seeds and Dr Jiang Wu, said

“The hub builds on our world-leading work on the creation of quantum dot devices on silicon substrates, including the creation of the first practical electrically pumped lasers on silicon.”

Hub Director, Professor Peter Smowton (Cardiff University), said “The Hub will provide Europe-leading facilities that will translate research into large-scale CS growth and device fabrication. Many advances in our daily lives depend upon CS technology. The new Hub will allow Cardiff and its partner Universities and companies to continue to develop technology that enables emerging trends, such as self-drive vehicles and 5G communications.”

Drew Nelson, CEO of Cardiff headquartered IQE, said: “IQE produced CS materials for 10 billion wireless chips last year, underpinning the worldwide mobile communications industry. The Hub will allow us to exploit the highly advantageous electronic, magnetic, optical and power handling properties of Compound Semiconductors while utilising the cost and scaling advantage of silicon technology where it fits best.”

Another Hub project partner, the US-based optical components manufacturer Oclaro, had 50% quarter on quarter growth in 100 Gbit transceiver products, developed and manufactured in the UK, supporting internet communication.

The Hub’s goal is to grow long-term future partnerships with UK and international companies and academics.

Peter Smowton added: “We are open to interactions with new partner companies and universities, and we can provide opportunities through feasibility project funding calls to kick-start future partnerships with the power to change the way we live.”

Media Contacts:

Professor Huiyun Liu: / +44 (0)20 7679 3983

Bex Caygill (UCL Communications and Marketing) Direct line: +44 (0)20 3108 3846. Mobile: +44 (0)77 3330 7596