A piece of material with a $1 million 500 thousand investment to bring him 10 times the brightness of the lighting!
Source: Date:2018-03-28

There is a light in the night, we have 24 hours of happiness. However, Chen Chen felt the light is not enough, also need more light". So, at the end of 2014, he and Professor Han Zhong (Department of Yale University Department of Electronics) founded Saphlux, a new generation of semipolar Gan light emitting materials for solid state display and lighting. The Saphlux founder: Chen Chen (right) and Professor Han Zhong. Looking up, the luminescence dating back more than 20 years has passed for a generation, no matter in the LED lamp or on the screen, it almost get in by every opening in everyone's life. But the bottleneck is also becoming increasingly apparent: the brightness of monolithic LED chip has reached the limit. Therefore, many scientists have put on a new generation of optical materials. Among them, semipolar Gan light emitting materials become new favorites "the single chip laboratory, brightness theory can reach 10 times in the past". But how to achieve mass production, has become a problem. Chen Chen led the team with the sapphire substrate, in June this year, the development of large size semi polar material, solves the problem of mass production. Once launched, the global top producer LED 5 has 3 uses. In addition to high power lighting, materials can be used in the 3D projection, VR, medical and other fields. Sounds very good, but the entrepreneurial process Chen Chen was full of dramatic...... Met at Yale professor Han Zhong's lectures are arranged in the last. As Gan materials experts, the content of the lecture nature cannot do without the GaN material and commercial value. Finished, he rushed down a glance. It is as expected, each face or confused, or no interest. Research on a new generation of optical materials in Yale University, Department of electronics, and even the whole world is difficult, not to mention, he is facing a group of school children. "What do you want to ask me?" After the lecture, he retained the routine questions. Under the table in perfect silence. At this time, Chen Chen suddenly stood up, broke the quiet venue, "I want to know the technical barriers in this material". He is the only one who asked the professor to answer. This scene took place in 2014, a lecture at Yale University in Connecticut, in the United states. Shortly before August, Chen Chen came to Yale University for MBA. Although it is a business school student, but he is no stranger to technology: Tsinghua University undergraduate, 24 year old has graduated, research onyx360, by the industry awards...... At that time, Chen Chen of solid-state lighting industry shows that understanding is not much, not to mention the research frontier of GaN materials. After the lecture, he once again find Han Zhong. "He is a Virgo, I was in Capricorn, we analysis from the constellation congenial temper." Chen Chen joked. In this way, the two age difference of 20 years old, a friendship between generations, meet to explore semipolar Gan materials commercialization. Since then, Chen Chen in-depth understanding of the industry. Since 90s, Nakamura Shuji developed a blu ray LED, solid state display and lighting is at the core of the first generation semiconductor materials has gone through more than 20 years. Until now, the brightness has reached the limit. "To improve the brightness, can only increase the number of chips LED." In the high-power lighting and display model (3D, VR, projection etc.) the first generation of materials has been unable to meet the needs of the people. Semipolar Gan materials have been given high expectations, has become a hotspot in optical materials. "The single chip brightness can theoretically reach 10 times in the past". But the production of materials has been stuck in the laboratory, Professor Han Zhong has accumulated 6 years of research experience in this field. "Even the inventor of the Nobel physics prize winner Nakamura Shuji can not solve the problem of mass production." In November two, the establishment of the company Saphlux. "Did not think too much, want to try." A $1 million 500 thousand investment in a month after school winter vacation. Chen Chen is not idle, to seek financing. "We do not vote, the new material of semiconductor." Often too late to speak, Chen Chen had to cold-shoulder treatment. Two weeks, he is from Beijing, Shanghai and many other city, met a total of 25 dial investors, finally several investment institutions favor, including Zhenge fund. However, the first meeting, Chen Chen took it real fund partner Li Jianwei chat sleepy. When two people talk less than an hour, Li Jianwei yawned Chen Chen away. "Thought to be yellow, but BP is not doing well." After going back, Chen Chen immediately according to the investor's feedback has been adjusted to BP. "We don't know what the investor concern, only a little bit to find out. My sword and Wei later became good friends, he later told me that, according to our original BP no one will vote." Last February, the angel round of $1 million 500 thousand investment into account, the real lead investor funds, LIAN investment and Yale VC with investment. Subsequently, Chen Chen began recruiting. "Over the past 10 years, LED related products to improve the efficiency of 10 times, 10 times the price drop. But in the past two or three years, growth stagnation, even industry giants also difficult to break. This is a good opportunity to dig to industry experts." He will be looking to the director of research and development of a leading South Korean company LED, a disciple of Nakamura Shuji scientists. "You have to be careful here, life is tragic, may often have to work overtime." The United States Friday, Chen Chen gave the scientist to dial the phone, openly talk after work. "You don't have to mention this, now is the time to South Korea on Saturday, but I will open one day. So I can adapt to working intensity." Two days later, Chen Chen received an email: I have to resign from the company of Korea, can now follow you. "When reading very moved, he as the industry, with the courage of bridges with my business." The photo team personnel in place, Yale University leased equipment is also very quick fix. "Although we are research and development of new materials, but regardless of their production or co production, can use the existing equipment and capacity." According to the "I told Professor Han's first plan, think this thing to finance $500 thousand, spent 3 months will be able to do it." But the real investment in R & D, Chen Chen found that the process is far not so smooth. Product development team into dense willow trees and bright flowers June, the development of new materials, the goal is clear: to solve production problems of large size semi polar material. The research in this field is carried out for many years, some scientists can do the size of materials to prove the feasibility, but how to make large size products, particularly difficult." On the one hand, Han Zhong professor with 6 years of experience, he tried to change the material mode of production. Before, this material is required for GaN growth on sapphire by beveling the implementation, but every scrap cost $2000, not commercial. At the beginning of this year, several experimental attempts, through special processing, large size semi polar materials directly grown on the sapphire substrate, and the shape and direction of crystal growth can be controlled. "This is a bit like cooking, by adding different seasonings, and finally fused into a new dish." In March, Chen Chen launched the material plan. However, on the eve of the on-line product testing is a problem: the material defects, directly lead to performance decline. "There is a fault that fine hair like, all the industry research institutions are unable to solve. Fortunately, our previous experiments once to eliminate this defect." But in the next few months, no matter what kind of defects have been tried. The atmosphere of the team for a moment into "feel a bit depressed, the end of hills and rivers". "How to do? We are not going to go to the other direction?" "The last weekend to try again." On the occasion of the turn, mountains multiply and streams double back, the team once again developed a defect free material. The comparison of the two tests, we finally found out the reason." Originally, the Yale device not only in the Saphlux team, a team after an experiment equipment of residual elements inadvertently eliminate defects. "At that time really feel, when you try to time in no way, God will open another window for you." Chen Chen joy shows between the lines. In May, the line defect free semipolar Gan materials. "The original semi polar material can only be 1 cm X0.5 cm in size, we do 2 inch, 4 inch, 6 inch size. A new generation of materials arrived." The period for lighting and display research, Saphlux has reached a strategic cooperation with the United States one of the largest LED company, which is the material used to provide optimal guidance. This allowed us to dispense with the product testing links, go a lot less detours." In June, the results of Saphlux burst out on the Internet, the world's top five LED companies have 3 began to use their products. In addition, apple MacLED display suppliers, mainland and Taiwan some Chinese China manufacturers orders. The application of semipolar Gan materials, the academic circles have had a lot of discussions. "Lighting, outdoor lighting, medical equipment industry of ultraviolet disinfection, can use this material." The prospects for broader display. It can realize the holographic projection, intelligent mobile phone, watch can get rid of the LED screen, with a laser projection and white background can be like the movies put." And this material can greatly save energy. "We had an account balance, if the LED lamp 50% of the country's use of the material, probably can turn off the 30 medium-sized thermal power plant." At present, the price of a single piece of material, the production of Saphlux was $560, mainly for research and development of products for customer orders. "Our production line and the generation of the same material, the cost of a level in line." Recently, Chen Chen rented a new office at Yale, and the purchase of a batch of new equipment. "These devices operate together, can reach 40~50 new material daily production capacity, to meet customer demand." According to Chen Chen estimates, by the end of next year, the product will be mass production, annual flow of $50 million. "Our international technology leader in 2~3 years, the future development of a new generation of materials, the introduction of new products, we hope the new material can quickly bring changes to the industry."

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