Kyma Wins US Army Support for Native Non-Polar GaN Development

Kyma Technologies, Inc. is pleased to announce its recent selection for Phase I funding under the U.S. Army's Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) Program.


The STTR effort will focus on the development of native crystalline non-polar gallium nitride (GaN) substrates. Kyma will work with academic partners to better understand and improve its current approaches to making non-polar GaN and will also investigate alternate approaches, with the ultimate goal of establishing a cost effective supply of non-polar GaN that will be used for a broad range of military and commercial applications.

Kyma's engineers will work closely with the academic research groups led by Professor Mark Johnson at North Carolina State University (NCSU) and Professor April Brown at Duke University. Professor Johnson's group has already investigated the electrical and structural properties of Kyma's GaN materials and has worked with Kyma on novel approaches to manufacturing non-polar GaN. Professor Brown will extend her current programs in advanced epitaxial growth and characterization of non-polar GaN materials to Kyma's low defect density substrates. The collaborators hope to gain new understanding of the physical properties of Kyma's non-polar GaN substrates, including the ability to deposit high quality device layers thereupon.

Kyma co-founder and CTO Drew Hanser commented, “This program enables us to accelerate the development of non-polar GaN materials with ultra-low dislocation densities and zero stacking faults. Kyma's non-polar GaN offers a range of new possibilities in terms of device design and the potential to enable better device performance across several different semiconductor device types, including field effect transistors, heterojunction bipolar transistors, and visible and ultraviolet emitters and detectors.”

Kyma president and CEO Keith Evans added, “Support on this U.S. Army STTR is an important contribution to our overall effort to provide our customers with a full suite of best-in-class crystalline GaN and AlN materials and services. Non-polar GaN represents an exciting addition to our growing product line because of its strong potential to impact a broad range of military and commercial applications.”

About Non-Polar GaN

Non-polar GaN substrates are of great interest to the nitride semiconductor device community because they enable the deposition of improved device active regions that can be used to realize new and improved high performance optoelectronic and electronic nitride semiconductor devices. Leading semiconductor experts have predicted that non-polar GaN will enable higher quantum efficiencies and improved electrical characteristics for light emitting diodes (LEDs) and laser diodes and will enable the development of very high performance enhancement mode (e-mode) high electron mobility transistors (HEMTs). While such predictions have been partially corroborated by experiment, previous attempts to fabricate devices on non-polar GaN were severely hampered by the presence of very high defect densities in the active regions which had origins in the substrates and which derived from the heteroepitaxial approaches used in the non-native approach to their fabrication. Kyma's native boule growth approach provides a direct route towards slicing and polishing non-polar GaN and provides key benefits in terms of lower defect densities, process scalability, and manufacturing cost structure.

About Kyma Technologies

Based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Kyma Technologies, Inc. was founded in 1998 by researchers from North Carolina State University's Department of Materials Science and Engineering. Kyma's mission is to become the preferred supplier of high performance nitride semiconductor material and device solutions. Kyma's growing product portfolio includes native GaN substrates and GaN and AlN templates. Kyma has developed a strong IP portfolio including exclusively licensed NCSU patents and its own patented and patent-pending technologies.

For more information about Kyma Technologies, please visit our website, send us e-mail at, or call the company directly at 919.789.8880.

Kyma is a registered trademark of Kyma Technologies, Inc.