Asahi Kasei acquires Crystal IS

Japanese manufacturer of compound semiconductor devices acquires germicidal LED technology firm

Asahi Kasei Group, a Japan-based diversified industrial enterprise, has acquired Crystal IS of Green Island, NY, US, a developer of ultraviolet light emitting diodes (UVC LEDs) using high quality aluminum nitride (AIN) substrates.

The transaction marks Asahi Kasei’s entry into the UV LED market and provides a foundation for further development in the field of energy-conserving devices.

Financial details have not been disclosed.

“We are delighted to welcome Crystal IS into the Asahi Kasei family,” said Masafumi Nakao, general manager of Asahi Kasei’s Advanced Devices and Sensor Systems Development Centre.

“The advances in solid state UVC technology accomplished by Crystal IS will allow for clean and safe disinfection to be introduced into water, air and surface applications in multiple markets.”

The company will organise around its respective strengths, with r&d fundamentals and entrepreneurial business development managed from Crystal IS, and product engineering and manufacturing excellence being led by Asahi Kasei.

Asahi Kasei said Crystal IS’s technology was an ‘excellent fit’ with its thin-film device technology.

Steven Berger, president and chief executive of Crystal IS, said: “We recognise Asahi Kasei Group’s strength as a successful developer and manufacturer of compound semiconductor devices and are confident that its support will ensure a timely and quality launch of our UVC LED business in the global marketplace.”

Since being spun off from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, NY, US in 2007, Crystal IS has been working in development mode for more than 10 years. The firm has a history of early support from the RPI, as well as continued support from both regional and US government. Venture funding in 2004 and 2006 from ARCH Venture Partners, Lux Capital, the Credit Suisse/New York State Common Retirement Fund and Harris & Harris Group, helped the firm to scale up its development.

Recent collaborative and strategic support from Asahi Kasei Group and San’an Optoelectronics Company propelled the company to its current operation.

Crystal IS will continue to be based in New York State.