With over 30-year-long tradition in research it succeeded in developing many important methods of crystal growth. The influence of high pressure on the properties of systems containing semiconductors and superconductors were studied by annealing, crystallization and Differential Thermal Analysis (DTA) experiments, allowing the determination of the character of phase diagrams of III - V nitrides (GaP-GaN), NbN, MoN, and II-VI compounds (HgS, HgTe, HgSe). One of the most important results was the evaluation of the equilibrium curve for a Ga-GaN-N2 system [1].

In the early 1990s, due to an extreme importance of gallium nitride, the main effort was put into the optimization of this material for short wavelength optoelectronics applications. The growth of GaN crystals from solution of atomic nitrogen in liquid gallium under high nitrogen pressure (High Nitrogen Pressure Solution growth; HNPS method) resulted in the highest quality material (hexagonal GaN platelets grown in a spontaneous way) with dislocation density as low as 102 cm-2 [2].

In 2003 work on the Hydride Vapor Phase Epitaxy (HVPE) of GaN was started in the Laboratory. The motivation was to increase the size of the pressure grown crystals and crystallize seeds for the HNPS growth. Two-inch and up to 1 mm thick free standing HVPE-GaN crystals were obtained using MOCVD-GaN/sapphire templates. Recently a Multi Feed Seed (MFS) configuration in the HNPS growth method has been proposed and developed. This configuration is based on the conversion of free-standing HVPE-GaN crystals to free-standing, pressure grown HNPS-GaN of a much higher quality than the seeds [3].

In 2012 the Laboratory started to collaborate with Ammono S.A. and use the ammonothermally grown GaN crystals (Am-GaN) as seeds for the HVPE growth. Crack-free and up to 2.5 mm thick HVPE-GaN layers were obtained. The free-standing HVPE-GaN crystals sliced from Am-GaN seeds showed high structural as well as optical, electrical and thermal qualities [4].

In 2019 the Institute of High Pressure Physics (IHPP) acquired Ammono S.A. in bankruptcy and the company became part of the Institute [5].

Read more:

R. Kucharski, T. Sochacki, B. Lucznik and M. Bockowski "Growth of bulk GaN crystals" J. Appl. Phys. (Perspectives) (2020)
M.Zajac, R.Kucharski, K.Grabianska, A.Gwardys-Bak, A.Puchalski, D.Wasik, E.Litwin-Staszewska, R.Piotrzkowski, J.Z Domagala, M.Bockowski, "Basic ammonothermal growth of Gallium Nitride – State of the art, challenges, perspectives" Prog. Cryst. Growth Charact. Mater. (2018)
T. Sochacki, Z. Bryan, M. Amilusik, R. Collazo, B. Lucznik, J. L. Weyher, G. Nowak, B. Sadovyi, G. Kamler, R. Kucharski, M, Zajac, R. Doradzinski, R. Dwilinski, I Grzegory, M. Bockowski, Z. Sitar "Preparation of Free-Standing GaN Substrates from Thick GaN Layers Crystallized by Hydride Vapor Phase Epitaxy on Ammonothermally Grown GaN Seeds" Appl. Phys. Express (2013)
M. Bockowski, I. Grzegory, B. Łucznik, T. Sochacki, G. Nowak, B. Sadovyi, P, Strak, G. Kamler, E. Litwin-Staszewska, S. Porowski "Multi feed seed (MFS) high pressure crystallization of 1–2 in GaN" J. Cryst. Growth (2012)
I. Grzegory, M. Bockowski, S. Porowski ch.6 in "Bulk Crystal Growth of Electronic, Optical and Optoelectronic Materials" (2005)
J. Karpinski, J. Jun and S. Porowski "Equilibrium pressure of N2 over GaN and high pressure solution growth of GaN" J. Cryst. Growth (1984)

Ammono was created in 1999 by 4 Polish scientists, Robert Dwiliński, Roman Doradziński, Jerzy Garczyński, Leszek Sierzputowski, and a Japanese concern Nichia Chemical (today Nichia Corporation). In year 2010 Ammono had 60 employees. Seventy percent of shares belonged to the four scientists (the founders) and 30% to Nichia. In 2011 status of Ammono was changed from limited liability company (Sp. z o.o.) to joint stock company. Glencross Company Limited (GHL) became an investor of Ammono in 2012. The shares were then changed to: 59.9 % belonging to 3 of the founders (Dwiliński, Doradziński, and Sierzputowski), 23 % to Nichia, and 17.1 % to GHL. In 2014 rehabilitation proceedings of Ammono were commenced and ended in 2015 with declaring insolvency of the company. Since then Ammono was run by a court-appointed liquidator (Wiesław Ostrowski’s Barrister Office). The first leasing period of Ammono lasted from August 2015 till end of September 2016 and the leasing party was Grupa Azoty Folie (GAF). After that Ammono was under the administration of Wiesław Ostrowski’s Barrister Office (October 2016 – end of June 2017). The Institute of High Pressure Physics Polish Academy of Sciences (IHPP PAS) has been the leaseholder of Ammono (a company with 30 employees) since the beginning of July 2017. During leasing by IHPP PAS many successful events took place in Ammono. Most of all, a record-breaking sale of gallium nitride (GaN) wafers was achieved. Both the value of sales as well as number of sold wafers have increased. Development of ammonothermal GaN crystallization technology was also observed. Crystals are grown with a twice higher rate without deteriorating their amazing structural quality. They are reaching a bigger lateral size. A significantly larger number of GaN seeds used for multiplication of crystals as well as preparing GaN substrates is currently present at Ammono. The seeds are of bigger size than in the past. A decrease in fixed as well as production costs was also noted. Since the Polish Industrial Development Agency granted a loan for the amount of PLN 14.72 million to the IHPP PAS, the Institute acquired Ammono S.A. in bankruptcy in 2019 and the company became part of the Institute. The commercial activity is kept as a pilot line. 

Ammonothermal method - history and state of the art presentation

More articles in this field:

Lutz Kirste, Karolina Grabianska, Robert Kucharski, Tomasz Sochacki, Boleslaw Lucznik, Michal Bockowski "Structural Analysis of Low Defect Ammonothermally Grown GaN Wafers by Borrmann Effect X-ray Topography" (sep 2021)
M. A. Reshchikov, M. Vorobiov, K. Grabianska, M. Zajac, M. Iwinska, and M. Bockowski "Defect-related photoluminescence from ammono GaN" J. Appl. Phys. (mar 2021)
Y. Liu, B. Raghothamachar, H. Peng, T. Ailihumaer, M. Dudley, R. Collazo, J. Tweedie, Z. Sitar, F S Shahedipour-Sandvik, K. A Jones, A. Armstrong, A. A Allerman, K. Grabianska, R. Kucharski, M. Bockowski "Synchrotron X-ray topography characterization of high quality ammonothermal-grown gallium nitride substrates" Journal of Crystal Growth (dec 2020)
K. Grabianska, R. Kucharski, A. Puchalski, T. Sochacki, M. Bockowski "Recent progress in basic ammonothermal GaN crystal growth" Journal of Crystal Growth (oct 2020)
R. Kucharski, T. Sochacki, B. Lucznik, M. Bockowski "Growth of bulk GaN crystals" Journal of Applied Physics (aug 2020)
Ferdinand Scholz, Michal Bockowski, Ewa Grzanka "GaN-Based Materials" (aug 2020)
Karolina Grabianska, Piotr Jaroszynski, Aneta Sidor, Michal Bockowski, Malgorzata Iwinska "GaN Single Crystalline Substrates by Ammonothermal and HVPE Methods for Electronic Devices" Electronics (aug 2020)
P. Kruszewski, P. Prystawko, M. Grabowski, T. Sochacki, A. Sidor, M. Bockowski, J. Jasinski, L. Lukasiak, R. Kisiel, M. Leszczynski "Electrical properties of vertical GaN Schottky diodes on Ammono-GaN substrate" Materials Science in Semiconductor Processing (jun 2019)
M. Zajac, R. Kucharski, K. Grabianska, A. Gwardys-Bak, A. Puchalski, D. Wasik, E. Litwin-Staszewska, R. Piotrzkowski, J. Z Domagala, M. Bockowski "Basic ammonothermal growth of Gallium Nitride State of the art, challenges, perspectives" Progress in Crystal Growth and Characterization of Materials (sep 2018)

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