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Precious Metals Life Cycle Management for LED Applications

The LED industry has grown substantially over the last decade and has recently been impacted by the tremendous penetration of LED backlight TVs and laptops.  The latest LEDs, lasting on average 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs and operating with five times greater efficiency, have been well adopted into office buildings, shopping malls and large public areas.  One major hurdle left for full adoption of LEDs into residential spaces is reducing the cost of the LED replacement bulb.  Costs must be improved throughout the supply chain, including a focus on automation and standards, implementation to new packaging technologies and direct materials.  LED manufacturers must be aggressive in achieving lower cost targets as energy prices are predicted to climb to an estimated $2 per kilolumen by 2020, as highlighted in the R&D roadmap by the US Department of Energy (DOE). Materion provides a simplified solution to help reduce these direct materials costs.

Gold and gold alloys are used extensively for thin film deposition in manufacturing of HB-LEDs and as shown in Figure 1, the price of gold has continued to increase in the last few years with the trend expected to continue.

With its global footprint, Materion can help control the lifecycle of gold and other precious metals used in the production of LED devices. From fabricating gold evaporation material and sputtering targets, to meeting precise standards for excellent thin film properties and high yields, to cleaning and reclaiming precious metals from equipment shielding and then refining reclaimed metal back to its original specifications, and to fabricating it again into usable thin film deposition material – Materion provides a one-stop solution.  Materion’s vertically integrated services and management of gold used in LED processing reduces overall material costs and simplifies vendor management for our customers.

Click here to contact your local Materion representative to take advantage of over 100 years of Materion experience in gold metal management and manufacturing expertise to improve your manufacturing yields and reduce your precious metal costs.