Alumina (Al2O3) is the pre-cursor to artificial sapphire, used in multiple applications from iPhones to military equipment. The primary market focus is the light emitting diode (LED) lighting and display markets, which continue to grow at a very rapid pace (20-26% CAGR). The recent drop in costs are projected to continue as manufacturers achieve scale economics, bringing LED’s into direct competition with all incumbent lighting solutions.
Critical to continued cost improvement is the availability of consistent, high-purity alumina that allows for production of defect-free sapphire ingots. The existing process for alumina production (a 100 year old process), has limited room for improvement. Polar CEO, Scott Nichol – founder of 6N Silicon - has developed a proprietary new low-energy process.
ArcTern has been Polar’s primary backer as they moved from lab to commercial scale production. Polar has built a commercial-scale facility in Toronto, Canada and is exiting stealth mode and ready to go to market with the world’s highest-purity, lowest-cost alumina.