Gallium oxide is a next-generation power semiconductor material with a power semiconductor figure of merit*1 of more than 3,000 times that of silicon. It is also attracting considerable attention because it has the potential to be used at even higher voltages and currents than other materials being explored, such as SiC (silicon carbide) and GaN (gallium nitride).
To date, NCT has succeeded in developing, manufacturing, and selling gallium oxide wafers of up to 100mm, and has a global share of nearly 100%. AGC has been working on joint development and investing in NCT since 2018, based on the idea that NCT's high technology and AGC's inorganic material mass-production technologies, such as high-temperature melting, polishing processing, and cleaning cultivated through glass manufacturing, would enable mass production of gallium oxide at an early stage. With this third follow-on investment, AGC and NCT will further accelerate their activities toward the commercialization of gallium oxide wafers by 2023.
*1: Baliga figure of merit; assuming silicon is 1, gallium oxide is estimated to be 3,444. Please refer to the table below for details.
Novel Crystal Technology, Inc. (NCT) was established as a ‘carve-out' venture from the Tamura Corporation and a technology transfer venture from the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NICT) in June 2015. NCT is engaged in the development, manufacture, and sale of gallium oxide single crystal substrates and epitaxial films, which are used as power semiconductor materials as well as the development of power devices. In November 2017, NCT, in collaboration with Tamura Corporation, successfully developed the world's first trench MOS-type power transistor made with gallium oxide epitaxial film. The company is focusing efforts on being a world pioneer in the practical application of gallium oxide based power semiconductors.
■Physical properties of next generation power semiconductor materials