Project: AlGaInN u.v. laser diodes and arrays

GaN semiconductor materials have been described as the materials of the future and have experienced phenomenal growth in the last decade. Nichia (Japan) pioneered nitride technology in the mid-90's, producing the world's first nitride LED and violet/blue laser diode. Today, Nichia is still the dominant force in nitride technology along with a large number of Japanese corporations producing nitride lasers COly for optical data storage products such as BluRay. Similarly, the US has invested heavily in nitride technology for power electronics. In contrast, Europe has been poor to exploit nitride technology for commercial benefit, only Osram has a low power nitride laser product for displays. _x000D__x000D_Even with the Nichia success there are still many fundamental technology issues that limit the commercialisation of nitride technology. A major issue with nitride technology is the lack of a suitable GaN substrate. Today, most of the GaN substrate technology is Japanese, but with still major issues of relatively high and random defectivity resulting in poor and/or variable laser performance and low manufacturing yield._x000D_ _x000D_uvLASE is a project aimed at bringing two complementary EU R&D SME's together to develop a new technology capability in the manufacture of high power nitride u.v. laser devices. uvLASE is research driven with a view to commercialise high power nitride laser diode technology, creating new innovative business opportunities and wealth creation within the EU._x000D_ _x000D_The two EU R&D SME's Ps are this project:_x000D__x000D_- TopGaN is a company based in Warsaw, Poland. It is a spin-off from the Institute of High Pressure Physics UNIPRESS, commercializing a number of proprietary and patented technologies of GaN-based materials and devices, including the unique high-pressure grown GaN substrates, and high power violet laser diodes._x000D_ _x000D_- CST Global Ltd. (CST) is a company based in Glasgow, UK and is a highly specialised III-V photonics device foundry service supplier, volume manufacturing to ISO9001 standard. CST is probably Europe's largest manufacturer of semiconductor laser diodes, but with no experience in nitride devices._x000D_ _x000D_TopGaN has an unique and a world-leading position for the growth of very low defectivity, single crystal, free standing GaN substrates. TopGaN have recently demonstrated that large area GaN substrates can be manufactured, giving rise to the possibility of fabricating monolithic high power, laser arrays and bars. In addition, TopGaN have recently demonstrated world-class performance of over 2.5W cw from nitride u.v. laser diodes grown on TopGaN GaN substrates. _x000D__x000D_uvLASE is focused on the recent advances in nitride technology at TopGaN combined with CST manufacturing excellence in laser diodes to achieve a 'fast track' product to market. A R&D parallel track approach is considered to create a new generation of innovative products, with TopGaN focusing on nitride LD devices (in particular reliability) and CST focusing on developing processes suitable for nitride laser diode volume manufacture. _x000D__x000D_There is keen market interest for u.v. laser diode technology from the printing, medical and environmental industries, but without a commercially available solution. uvLASE is designed to supply these markets with prototype nitride laser diode products. _x000D__x000D_Our vision is to create a nitride laser diode capability that is based on entirely European R&D that will allow Europe to compete on a global scale in an industry dominated by the Japanese. We regard uvLASE as a critical first step in achieving this goal._x000D_

Acronym uvLASE (Reference Number: 6368)
Duration 01/09/2011 - 31/03/2014
Project Topic uvLASE is an exciting innovative project concerning AlGaInN u.v. laser diodes and arrays that uses the complementary core strengths of two European SME's to transform European R&D into commercial product for the printing, medical and environmental markets.
Project Results
(after finalisation)
uvLASE was envisaged to take advantage of the unique TopGaN capability for manufacturing high uniformity and low defectivity GaN substrates, and sharing laser diode manufacturing resources with CST to produce an unique range of 'proof-of-concept' high power laser bars and individually addressable laser arrays to stimulate the market. _x000D__x000D_The CO results of uvLASE can be summarized as:_x000D__x000D_1) u.v. GaN laser diode:_x000D_- As part of uvLASE, TopGaN designed and developed u.v. laser diode technology in the wavelength region 390-400nm. This is challenging technology with significant design constraints & material issues, however we have achieved 'state-of-the-art' performance compared to our competitors. _x000D__x000D_2) Innovative manufacture of GaN laser diodes at CST:_x000D_ - this has allowed an first indication of yield and hence cost of product. This is an important milestone in the commercialization of GaN laser diode technology. As a result of the work done in uvLASE, we believe we are in a good position compared to our competitors._x000D_- high uniformity and low defectivity GaN substrates have allowed the manufacture of monolithic GaN laser bars - this is a USP and gives us a competitive advantage compared to our competitors._x000D__x000D_3) GaN laser packaged devices:_x000D_- we have packaged GaN laser bars and arrays into CS mounts for high power and Butterfly packages (for individually addressable) laser arrays. This is the first attempt of photonic integration of monolithic GaN laser bars and arrays. This has allowed TopGaN to engage with several 'blue-chip' end-customers to understand their requirements better and has given us a high-level of confidence that 'proof-of-concept' devices can be further developed into prototype samples for field testing and eventually lead to volume production._x000D_
Network Eurostars
Call Eurostars Cut-Off 6

Project partner

Number Name Role Country
2 CST Global Ltd. Partner United Kingdom
2 TopGaN Ltd. Coordinator Poland