Canadian Manufacturing

5N Plus working to address Canadian cleantech, specialty semiconductor supply chain concerns

5N Plus is in the midst of consolidating its activities from Asia to North America, and AJ and the 5N Plus team continue to try and work around increasing freight costs due to the pandemic.

November 9, 2021  by Sadi Muktadir

Arjang Roshan, President and Chief Executive Officer of 5N Plus

5N Plus, a global producer of specialty semiconductors and performance materials, announced it entered into an agreement with AZUR SPACE GmbH (“AZUR”) in March of 2021 to acquire all of the issued and outstanding shares of AZUR. The acquisition of the German company, which has now been completed, is meant to create a more comprehensive value-chain spanning from the procurement and processing of critical materials to the manufacturing of finished epitaxy engineered substrates.

The acquisition was also notable in that AZUR SPACE manufactures multi-junction solar cells, a clean-friendly option for aerospace and tech applications. AJ Roshan, President and CEO of 5N Plus, offered more details.

“Most semiconductor production is silicon-based,” he said. “5N is focused on specialty semiconductors for specific applications. Silicon ends up having limitations with regards to efficiency, while multi-junction solar cells are great for applications that need more electricity as they are at least twice as efficient.”

The acquisition lends itself well to Canada’s emissions targets through a focus on electrification applications in manufacturing, and a focus on trying to create jobs in cleantech-adjacent sectors.

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When asked how acquiring a business in Germany helps to address the supply chain crunch as opposed to exacerbating it, AJ was forthcoming.

“We will all need specialty semiconductors in the future. Most of the current materials are based out of Asia right now, and we’re trying to build a supply chain with strategic materials from Canada.”

5N Plus is in the midst of consolidating its activities from Asia to North America, and AJ and the 5N Plus team continue to try and work around increasing freight costs due to the pandemic. The shipping of raw materials is one area AJ noted that he’d like to see the government address in helping to support a burgeoning domestic supply chain for semiconductors.

Additionally, on Oct. 19, 5N Plus announced a long-term agreement with Samsung Electronics Co. (“Samsung”) to supply engineered substrates based on II-VI semiconductor materials for the detector core of the next generation of medical imaging devices.

Companies like 5N Plus continue to diversify their supply chains through strategic acquisitions to try and create a network of strategic materials in places outside of Asia, boding well for Canadian advanced manufacturing.


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