We are proud to be able to offer assistance in the field of compound semiconductor research and industry. We are a highly skilled team of dedicated individuals, with the latest equipment at our disposal. If you would like to work with us, please contact us directly. We have a variety of equipment that can be available for use by the wider research community, including academics and industry. Access can be arranged via research collaborations or directly via our application and charging system.

Institute of Compound Semiconductors

The CS Hub works in close collaboration with Cardiff University’s Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS). Offering state of the art facilities enabling commercial and academic exploitation of CS Technology, ICS has a mission to become the CS facility of choice.

The ICS remit covers:

  • Academic research
  • Industrial productivity
  • Industrial and academic engagement
  • Workforce training.

ICS services can be used on a bespoke basis, depending on requirements. ICS are happy to provide a full service, where the user specifies the outcome, and ICS Engineers deliver the finished product. ICS can also provide training and guidance to users’ staff.


Professor Peter Smowton (School of Physics, Cardiff University) and Professor Hywel Thomas (School of Engineering, Cardiff University) received a £2M underpinning equipment grant from EPSRC, to support the CS Hub.
Underpinning equipment:
  • Atomic layer deposition
  • High resolution X-ray diffraction (HRXRD)
  • Scanning electron microscope (SEM)
  • Axio imager
  • Ellipsometer
  • Semiconductor parameter analyser and Vector network analyser and light wave analyser
  • Electro-optical characterisation and Six axis positioning system
  • Spectrum analyser

How can I get involved?

CS Hub (and Partner) facilities

Hub Partner, the Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS), has academic functions and fabrication facilities. Hub Partner, the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC), leads on translation and has growth facilities. Both the above partners, and the CS Hub (at Cardiff University) are part of an initiative to generate a major UK CS manufacturing cluster in South Wales.

Including the Hub’s spoke institutions, we can provide European leading facilities, including 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.

University growth facilities

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.

Cardiff University

  • A Welsh Assembly Ser Cymru investment has 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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