Monolithic Multiwavelength Materials for RF Photonic Device Integration

Period of Performance: 03/10/2000 - 09/10/2000


Phase 1 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Spire Corp.
One Patriots Park
Bedford, MA 01730
Principal Investigator

Research Topics


This proposed Phase I SBIR program is aimed at developing a low-cost method for incorporation of lasers, amplifiers, waveguides, modulators, phase shifters and splitters on a single chip for use in microwave phased array antenna control and related RF signal processing functions. Specific semiconductor device designs require different material properties which normally precludes such monolithic integration. However, through innovative use of stripe-patterned selective epitaxial growth, semiconductor layers with different strain and bandgap can be simultaneously deposited on a wafer in a single epitaxial growth operation. The Phase I work consists of the design of an InGaAsP multi-quantum well (MQW) p-i-n epitaxial structure which is to be grown on InP wafers patterned with silicon nitride stripes of different widths and stripe openings. The variable-bandgap properties of the patterned, epitaxially-grown MQW p-i-n material will be measured and correlated with stripe geometry. Measurements of photoluminescence emission wavelength vs. stripe geometry will provide design data for use in Phase II monolithic device and circuit designs. Phase II will deal with the effects of epitaxial growth reactor operating conditions on patterned layer growth and demonstration of a monolithic integrated waveguide subsystem including several types of devices, with delivery of prototype materials to ARL. BENEFITS: The availability of monolithic, integrated RF optoelectronic chips will open the route towards achieving reliable and low-cost components for use in microwave phased array antenna and related microwave signal processing systems. These cost reductions occur because integration simplifies manufacturing and testing, and eliminates cumbersome fiber coupling operations. Once developed, this chip fabrication technology can be adapted to a variety of photonic devices and device combinations thereby enabling the manufacture of entirely new RF, optical computing, and WDM systems. RF photonic systems find widespread use in military avionics and for commercial aviation and communication applications.