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Toyoda Gosei Successfully Develops Manufacturing Technology for Shortwave, GaN-based Semiconductor Laser Diode

April 19, 2001

Nagoya, April 19, 2001 -- Toyoda Gosei Co., Ltd. announced today that it has succeeded in developing manufacturing technology for a bluish-purple laser diode with a short wavelength using gallium-nitride (GaN) semiconductor material. The basic research for the GaN-based semiconductor laser diode was carried out under the direction of Professor Isamu Akasaki of Meijo University (Professor Emeritus of Nagoya University), and Assistant Professor Hiroshi Amano of Meijo University. The project was funded in part by the Japan Science and Technology Corporation (JST), one of the key organizations for implementing the policies of JapanÍs Science and Technology Agency for the general enhancement of science and technology in Japan. JST recently gave its approval to the report compiled by the two professors on this successful research project.

The research, which took seven years and cost about 700 million yen, yielded two major technological breakthroughs. Using GaN material, Toyoda Gosei developed the technology for stable semiconductor crystallization, which features high-quality multi-quantum well layers. The company also perfected a semiconductor laser diode that oscillates continuously and stably in the short wavelength band, based on its successful development of an optical wave guiding structure and a packaging technology that excels in heat radiation. Toyoda Gosei has filed about 50 patent applications in connection with the research.

Toyoda Gosei plans to start sample shipments of the new laser diode product this fall. The GaN-based semiconductor laser diode has a wavelength of 410 nanometers*1 with a three milliwatt output, and an estimated life of more than 5,000 hours*2 under continuous oscillation at room temperature. 

Laser diode products are widely used in a variety of electronic appliances and machinery, including scanner light sources for large capacity DVDs (next generation DVDs), laser printers, the fine machining of semiconductor substrate, and full-color projector-type laser displays. Laser diode sales totaled $2.92 billion in 2000, and the market is expected to grow to $5.35 billion in 2004, according to the estimate of Strategies Unlimited. Toyoda Gosei expects the launch of its bluish-purple laser diode products to further expand this market.

*1: A nanometer is one billionth of a meter.
*2: Estimated value