Compound semiconductor materials are a Key Enabling Technology at the heart of modern society. Next generation technologies will only be achieved with a huge increase in compound semiconductor manufacture.
Future manufacturing hubs background
To help manufacturing industries respond to future opportunities and drivers, and contribute to a prosperous UK, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of Research Councils UK (RCUK), looked to evolve their critical mass investments in manufacturing, building on the successes of the Innovative Manufacturing Research Centres and the EPSRC Centres for Innovative Manufacturing.
The EPSRCs vision for this critical mass investment was to support UK manufacturing industries, by funding the commercialisation of early stage research opportunities in emerging areas, through a network of Future Manufacturing Research Hubs.
The future compound semiconductor manufacturing hub
They are 1 of 8 UK Future Manufacturing Hubs, funded by EPSRC and industry.
Known as the CS Hub, we were first launched in October 2016. They perform unique, exciting and vital research into large scale Compound Semiconductor (CS) manufacturing, and in manufacturing integrated CSs on Silicon. In association with the Institute for Compound Semiconductors at Cardiff University, we provide world-leading facilities that will translate CS research into large-scale growth and device fabrication. This is essential to the future of most technologies.
The CS Hub is led from Cardiff University, with spokes at University of Manchester, University of Sheffield, and University College London. We have >30 industrial partners participating in the CS Hub by providing resources, time and expertise. Existing CS Hub partners can be found at partner organisations.
They have strong links with colleagues in other Hubs, particularly the Future Advanced Metrology Hub and the Future Photonics Hub. These links will support and complement our CS research, and facilitate larger investments for promising, cross-cutting feasibility studies.
They aim to make huge inroads to the use of CSs as an alternative to silicon, which will allow other scientific and technical areas to flourish, supporting the UK economy.
The structure of the CS Hub
The CS Hub is comprised of 2 grand challenges, 3 platform work packages, and 5 work packages broadly define their research areas. Full detail can be found in their Research pages.
They hope to build on these research areas by supporting new studies through feasibility study funding. Their first round funded 6 new studies (August 2018). Subsequent rounds will be announced on their website as they arise. A key component of these studies is to promote interactions between the CS Hub and new partners (academic and industry).
Details of their existing partners can be found at their EPSRC website page.
Their first Grand Challenge focuses on enabling the connected nation, while their second encompasses the important issues surrounding Sensing in CS manufacture. Our research interests further break down into CSs on silicon epitaxy (III-Sb, III-As, and III-N), CSs on silicon device fabrication, as well as FastFab – Integrated growth, fabrication and characterisation. These initial basic issues are further supported by research into the Connected Nation, including Manufacturing Technology for Optical Datacommunications on silicon, Advanced Radio Frequency devices and MMICs, as well as Monolithic Integration of RGB LEDs and Integrated Radio Frequency Electronics for LiFi. Their second Grand Challenge is supported by research focuses on Magnetic Arrays and Infra Red Arrays.
What will the CS Hub do?
- Position the UK at the centre of CS manufacturing research.
- Support & promote CS research and systems research in all associated fields.
- Apply the manufacturing disciplines and approaches used with Silicon semiconductors.
- Combine CSs with Silicon.
- Facilitate the required increase in CS manufacture.