The EPSRC Manufacturing Hub in Compound Semiconductors will address the need to integrate CS and silicon (Si) manufacturing, apply the manufacturing advances made in one type of CS across the different families of CSs and combine these different CSs for optimum functionality.

The recently established Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS), which essentially has academic functions and fabrication facilities, and Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC), which leads on translation and has growth facilities, are £80M Cardiff University and Welsh Government initiatives supporting a strategy to generate a major UK CS manufacturing cluster in South Wales.

These European leading facilities will include a full 200mm (8″) CS on Si wafer process line and closely related smaller scale fabrication tools, with common operating principles and maintenance arrangements enabling the most effective translation of the envisaged research to manufacturing. Currently we are working at wafer scales up to 150mm (6″).

Complementary growth facilities are provided at Manchester, UCL, Sheffield and Cardiff:


  • Two molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) systems, including high uniformity 200mm (8″) MBE, will focus on growth of GaAs for e.g. 2DEG magnetic sensors.

  • Local 150mm fabrication and characterisation facilities include DCXRD, PL, CV and RF on wafer to 110GHz.


  • A unique CS and Si growth facility consisting of a twin MBE system, where the III-V growth chamber is connected to the group IV chamber for capping underlying material with a pure and smooth Si epi surface before III-V epitaxy. Substrate can be heated to over 1000 0C for oxide desorption.

  • Local fabrication and characterization provides support to growth including lightwave component analysis to 67GHz and bit error rate testing to 100GBit/s.


  • A brand new MOVPE GaN growth system supplements existing capability and also has local material characterisation and extensive device testing facilities for advanced research on III-nitrides.

  • The Sheffield activity will be developed in Cardiff (CSC and IQE)on 150mm and 200mm MOVPE GaN reactors.

In Cardiff a Welsh Assembly Ser Cymru investment has also supported new MBE GaN and MBE and MOVPE As and Sb based systems. Fabrication in the ICS is supported by materials and optoelectronic (400-4000nm) and RF device characterization (to 120 GHz). This world leading capability enables research on the important CS material families and includes the wafer size scale-up and integrated epitaxial growth and processing, with direct comparisons between small and large scale, necessary for manufacturing. It allows the hub to fund personnel and consumables only to leverage the largest effect. ICS and CSC facilities provide laboratory and specialist clean-room space for co-located academics and industrialists to create maximum innovation and translational impact for the next stage beyond the EPSRC Hub.

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