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Semiconductor leader donates $1 million in equipment to Texas State

By Matt Flores
University News Service
July 2, 2014

Texas State University’s College of Science and Engineering has acquired state-of-the-art equipment valued at approximately $1 million that is used in the production of advanced electronic components such as wireless transmitters/receivers and LEDs.

The MOCVD epitaxial reactor, uniquely designed for gallium nitride deposition, a semiconductor with a broad range of high-impact properties, was donated by Nitronex, LLC, a subsidiary of M/A-COM Technology Solutions Inc. (“MACOM”).  Headquartered in Lowell, Mass., MACOM is a leading supplier of high performance analog RF, microwave, and millimeter wave products that enable next-generation Internet and modern battlefield applications. In addition to the reactor, the gift includes support equipment, hardware and additional parts.

The equipment is capable of producing high-tech materials by depositing extremely thin layers, essentially atom-by-atom, on semiconductor wafers. The material is then used in the manufacture of devices such as amplifiers for wireless communication, light-emitting diodes (LEDs), lasers, transistors, solar cells and other electronic devices.

“We are very grateful for this gift, which also underscores the quality and reputation of our Materials Science Engineering and Commercialization program,” said Bill Covington, associate vice president for research and federal relations at Texas State.

MOCVD stands for Metalorganic Chemical Vapor Deposition, which describes the chemical nature of the sources of the atoms and the layering process used to produce the materials.

“This equipment is in outstanding working condition and will be a tremendous addition to Texas State's research capabilities, enhancing the experiences of our students, and our ability to attract external federal, state and industrial funding,” said Edwin Piner, a Texas State physics professor who assisted in the acquisition of the equipment.

The epitaxial reactor will be set up as a research service center in the university’s Roy F. Mitte Building and will be accessible to the Texas State community as well as to external collaborators.