Asahi Glass Co. says that in July it will be offering a new glass-ceramics substrate targeted at manufacturers of stronger, brighter LEDs (think residential, automotive and electronics, such as 3D televisions that currently suffer from dim images because of the split views). The glass–ceramic substrate will be made in a new factory in Taiwan.
AGC indicated this push in glass–ceramic substrates earlier his year in the management plan it published in February.
Existing LED applications, such has home lighting, have relatively small power output. A move to higher-power applications means that engineers will have to deal with more heat and durability problems. AGC says low-power (resin) substrates will have to be replaced with something tougher.
“. . . alumina substrates are heat-resistant, but the reflectivity deteriorates over time as the silver reflective film, which is used for enhancing high-brightness, becomes sulfurated over a prolonged period. In addition, due to the poor moldabiliy, alumina substrates are considered to have only limited usage. AGC’s new substrate that is created through the integration of our glass technology and ceramics technology enables both high-brightness and high-durability for high-output LEDs, and has excellent moldability into compact shapes.”
AGC claims the market for high-durability LED substrate material will be worth 100 billion yen ($1.12 billion) by 2020, and it is aiming for a 20% market share. It should be noted that at least one market research group pegs the high power market (at least the “high-brightness” market) at $5 billion.