Long-Wavelength Oxide Vertical-Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers

Period of Performance: 11/04/1997 - 11/04/1999

$872K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Picolight, Inc.
4622 Sunshine Canyon Dr.
Boulder, CO 80302
Principal Investigator

Research Topics

Abstract

The effort to develop long-wavelength (>1.3,um) oxide vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) begins December 1, 1996 in a Picolight-funded IR&D program. This Phase II proposal is submitted as a result of a completed Phase I contract. The Phase II program is in two parts: 1) Demonstration, using BMDO funding; and 2) Development, in which BMDO funds are matched 1:1 by commercial investment into Picolight's facility. The Phase I program investigated promising approaches to fabricating long-wavelength VCSELs, and identified the optimum material structure. Due its timeliness and importance, Picolight is initiating action immediately. Part 1 forms a sequence of growth and fabrication advancements which will establish the long-wavelength VCSEL manufacturability. Part 2 will develop the long-wavelength VCSEL into a manufacturable pre-production model. It will involve multiple iterations of designing, growing, fabricating and testing the long-wavelength VCSELs. The final iteration will involve very detailed characterization of the VCSEL performance, reliability and uniformity over wafers. Finally, the new technology will be evaluated for applicability to multi-wavelength array formation at 1.55,um for wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM). Multi-wavelength VCSEL arrays represent a much--lower-cost alternative to distributed-feedback laser arrays for WDM sources, making far greater impact on fiber communication systems.