One of the biggest uses of energy on the planet is lighting, so imagine if there was one unique solution that made LED lighting more affordable and solar PV thin films more efficient. Ontario startup Meaglow is working on it!
Meaglow, which stands for Migration Enhanced Afterglow, produces patented technology developed by Dr. K. Scott Butcher, a veteran in the development of semiconductor thin film growth reactors, and his partner, Dr. Dimiter Alexandrov. The technology is capable of overcoming the shortfalls of current epitaxial deposition methods (e.g., Metalorganic Chemical Vapour Deposition [MOCVD] and Molecular Beam Epitaxy [MBE]).
Deposition is a critical step in the fabrication of semiconductor devices that involves growing materials in wafers (layers). To learn how Meaglow’s technique can cut costs in the fabrication of solar wafers and increase efficiency, see this PV Insider article.
Meaglow’s technology is one of a kind in Canada and has received a lot of attention, including a four-page spread in Compound Semiconductor magazine (pages 36 to 39).
While the benefits of using Indium Nitride (InN) in semiconductors vary depending on the application, the challenges seem to remain constant. They include imperfections in growth processes and the uniformity of deposition, the abundant use of ammonia (high temperature technologies), rough surfaces and the cost of growth tools.
Meaglow’s solution is a low-capital growth tool, capable of producing high-quality films for a variety of semiconductor applications, while eliminating the problems of existing technologies and offering lower ongoing consumable costs.
Although Meaglow is currently concentrating on Indium Nitride, their system can also produce Gallium Nitride (GaN), Indium Gallium Nitride (InGaN), and Aluminium Gallium Nitride (AlGaN).
Meaglow has developed a prototype system housed at Lakehead University. To date, the prototype has already far surpassed the expectations of the company and has put them ahead of their commercialization schedule, especially given the global interest it has attracted.
The company is in the next stage of establishing partnerships with industry-specific partners who see the value of working with innovative materials that have the potential to propel them light years ahead of competitors. Such is the case of semiconductor and other electronic components companies, which, according to Thomsom Reuters, rank as the most innovative when compared to companies in other industries.
The company is also at an interesting crossroads, soon to launch a revolutionary Indium Nitride material that has demonstrated very interesting efficiency results. Meaglow must not only grow the company, but an entire new industry in Canada with new materials. Upon further successful lab results and the formation of solid partnerships, the firm will be well positioned for investment opportunities and employment growth.
Meaglow is a proud member of the Northwestern Ontario Innovation Centre (NWOIC), which offers support to entrepreneurs, businesses and community projects in the region of Northwestern Ontario. The Centre seeks out new approaches to improve, enhance and invigorate a commercialization system in its region.
According to Dr. Butcher, Meaglow became a member of the NWOIC before registering Meaglow Ltd. in December 2009. The Centre introduced Meaglow to its accounting and legal services, supported their PR activities, and helped them source local machine shops, network with prospective customers, prepare their business plan and secure funding. Dr. Butcher went so far as to say, “We are much indebted to the team at the NWOIC. Without them it is clear that Meaglow Ltd. simply would not exist.”
To learn more about other Innovation Centres in your region, visit: http://www.oneinnovation.ca/en/OntarioNetworkOfExcellence.aspx.