BluGlass takes aim at semiconductor manufacturing

Stuart Mason

For Australian semiconductor developer BluGlass, the launch of its full set of product earlier this year was nearly two decades in the making.

The company is commercialising its semiconductor manufacturing technology, known as Remote Plasma Chemical Vapour Deposition (RPCVD), which provides a range of advantages to existing gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductors, and has applications in defence, quantum and biotech markets.

BluGlass was spun out of Macquarie University in 2005 with the acquisition of three foundational patents, based on 10 years of research in the field. The next decade was spent developing the RPCVD technology and transitioning to a commercialisation phase.

In April last year, the company acquired a laser diode manufacturing fabrication facility in Silicon Valley. Its journey so far culminated in February this year when BluGlass launched its first full suite of GaN lasers to the market.

ASX-listed BluGlass now offers end-to-end laser diode design based on its RPCVD technology.

The current design of these lasers suffers from major optical and resistive loss, leading to low conversion efficiencies. BluGlass’s approach offers a number of benefits, including lower resistivity and higher efficiency, and can be made with custom wavelengths and flexible form factors.

BluGlass GaN Lasers is a finalist in the InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence in the Defence, Dual-Use Technology and Space and Manufacturing categories. You can secure your tickets to the Black-Tie event here.

BluGlass now operates out of three semiconductor facilities, with its head office in Silverwater in New South Wales. It has downstream manufacturing facilities in Silicon Valley and Boston.

The pandemic brought into sharp focus the importance of sovereign capabilities and supply chain control, and it motivated BluGlass to bring its downstream supply chain and operational talent in-house, acquiring the laser fabrication facility and an expert manufacturing team in Silicon Valley.

The GaN Lasers have applications in semiconductor manufacturing, advanced materials processing, robotics and artificial intelligence, among many others.

The gallium nitride lasers are a fast growing segment in the global $25 billion laser market, which is expected to reach $2.5 billion by 2025. Currently dominated by two major overseas players, BluGlass is taking on the market with its new technology from a base in regional New South Wales.

The company has received about $92 million in investor capital, including from the research and development tax incentive, government grants and early-stage revenue.

BluGlass is also a member of the University of Santa Barbara’s Solid-State Lighting and Electrical Energy Consortium, and has collaborated with the US Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency alongside Yale University.

It is also looking at incorporating cutting-edge technologies in its processes, employing advanced robotics at its manufacturing facilities to enable vacuum-sealed process flows in each manufacturing step.

BluGlass is also looking at AI technologies to calculate strain management in the laser diode and to predict reliability and potential points of failure.

The InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence are proudly supported by Investment NSW, AusIndustry, Australian Computer Society, Technology Council of Australia, Agile Digital, CSIRO, TechnologyOne, IP Australia, METS Ignited and Q-CTRL.

The finalists for the all of the InnovationAus Awards for Excellence are an incredible set of companies. Have your say in which of these innovators becomes the People’s Choice. You can reserve your place at the InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence black-tie dinner by clicking here.

Protecting your great ideas with intellectual property (IP) rights can lead to lasting benefits for your growing business. IP refers to creations of the mind, such as a brand, logo, invention, design or artistic work. Head to the IP Australia website to find out more about IP, and how it might help your business.

Reserve your place at the InnovationAus 2023 Awards for Excellence black-tie dinner by clicking here.

Do you know more? Contact James Riley via Email.

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