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Recovery and Reuse of Gallium Arsenide Waste

galliumwaste.jpg (37508 bytes)Problem: The Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) uses parts fabricated from gallium arsenide for radar and communication systems. With the increasingly stringent waste disposal requirements, device and system, as well as production costs, could skyrocket. AFRL Materials and Manufacturing Directorate (ML) was interested in developing new methods for arsenic waste reduction to assure the continued availability of affordable parts for their military systems.

Solution: The University of Dayton Research Institute (UDRI) developed a system to detoxify gallium arsenide wastes. The UDRI system can separate the waste chemicals into their constituents that can be reused rather than discarded. However, the UDRI system needed to be tailored to be more convenient to the user. UDRI also needed larger samples of gallium arsenide wastes to verify performance of the chemicals in the system. Through this Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA), AFRL is able to supply needed industry contacts, as well as larger samples of gallium arsenide. AFRL also advises on the appropriateness of conceptual processes and identifies industrial systems where the proposed processes may have an impact.

Benefits:

  • The Air Force benefits from broader knowledge of semiconductor waste handling.
  • The Air Force also benefits from a reduction in electronic systems cost due to reduced gallium arsenide waste disposal charges.
  • Commercial semiconductor manufacturers, particularly cellular phone chip makers, also benefit from lower prices due to the reduced waste disposal charges, as well as from recovery of very expensive raw materials.
  • Everyone benefits from the reduction of toxic waste in our landfills.

Current Status:

  • UDRI has tested the technology at a computer manufacturer in California.
  • The technology has been proven as a result of this test.
  • UDRI has 2 patents pending and a potential licensee for this technology.
If you have any questions about this Cooperative Research and Development Agreement or are interested in getting more information about technology transfer and CRADA projects, please contact Jim Singer at Wright Technology Network (937) 253-0217 or CRADA@wtn.org

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