Monocrystal Ready to Take on LED and Mobile Device Market

There are dozens of manufacturers in the global sapphire manufacturing market, but only tier one manufacturers are capable of supplying good quality sapphire ingots including Kyocera, Namiki, Monocrystal, DK AZTEC, USIO, Harbin Aurora Optoelectronics and Silan Opto. Leading sapphire manufacturers have launched production expansion plans to meet LED and non-LED market demands. LEDinside had an opportunity to interview Monocrystal Marketing Director Ludmila Zubova at TILS 2015 last week.

Monocrystal Marketing Director Ludmila Zubova. (LEDinside)

Monocrystal is a Russian manufacturer that specializes in sapphire crystal growth, and sapphire wafer. Founded in 1969, Monocrystal has been in the sapphire industry for more than 30 years. Its major businesses include photovoltaic metallization pastes, and manufacturing of sapphire ingots and sapphire wafer. The company has 1,000 employees worldwide, with the majority based in Russia. In addition, it has factory in China and five sales offices worldwide.

The company sells 2-inch, 4-inch and 6-inch sapphire ingots, and 4-inch, 6-inch, and 8-inch sapphire substrates. The company’s sapphire ingot production capacity reached 40 million millimeter (mm) in early 2015, and is projected to reach 50 million mm by the end of this year. Based on Monocrystal’s early targets, its production capacity will double within the next two years. The company’s crystals cover 90 kilogram (kg), 115 kg and 140 kg grade. The company upheld an optimistic outlook for LEDs and handheld device application markets, and projected mainstream sapphire crystal size will reach 140 kg grade very soon. Larger crystals have better efficiency, since the crystal can be drilled into many different sized sapphire ingots. Using its crystal efficiency, quality and cost advantages, Monocrystal has clinched 27% market shares in the global sapphire ingot industry, making it one of the world’s largest sapphire ingot manufacturers.

Monocrystal's sapphire products diplayed at TILS 2015. (LEDinside)

LED market is one of sapphire’s major application sectors. As Chinese and Taiwanese LED chip manufacturers expand production capacity, and begin to develop 4-inch and 6-inch sapphire wafers, Monocrystal has increasingly valued operations in these two regional markets. China and Taiwan markets have even become a major revenue growth driver for Monocrystal. Despite intense market competition, and LED chip manufacturers raising the requirement for sapphire product quality, Monocrystal was very confident in its product quality. In such a competitive market, aside from controlling costs, sapphire quality and uniformity is also fairly important, said Monocrystal. The company also emphasized the company’s sapphire Etch Pit Density (EPD) had to be less than 100cm2 to extend the LED lifetime.

Monocrystal is experienced in applying sapphire in consumer electronics and watch cover applications. As for the handheld application market, the company was confident in meeting market demands. The company projected sapphire’s properties of being scratch resilient and hardness will make it a major material used by smartphone makers. Monocrsytal’s sapphire quality, production capacity and manufacturing costs are ready to meet the market’s sapphire demands.

(Author: Joanne Wu, Manager, Research Division LEDinside/ Translator: Judy Lin, Chief Editor, LEDinside)

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