20 April 2011

ODIS demos laser using POET monolithic optoelectronic fabrication technology

OPEL Solar International Inc of Toronto, Ontario, Canada says that its US affiliate OPEL Defense Integrated Systems (ODIS) of Shelton, CT has demonstrated laser operation for the first time in a new integrated device as part of its Planar Optoelectronic Technology (POET) process.

POET creates high-performance devices by fusing optical and electronic functions together on a single chip. Specifically, POET is a semiconductor manufacturing technology that enables the monolithic fabrication of integrated circuits containing both electronic and optical elements. The firm claims that by offering components with much lower cost, together with increased speed, density and reliability, POET could allow it to fundamentally alter the landscape for a broad range of applications, such as tablet computers and smartphones.

Based on a proprietary III-V materials structure, the pulsed vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) operates at 980nm with a 12µm-diameter vertical cavity surface and an output power of 1.7mW. In tandem with ODIS’ existing integrated detector — a heterostructure field-effect transistor (HFET) device — the laser enables inter-circuit optical connections between electronic devices for on-chip applications.

“This has proven, for the first time, an end-to-end technology for on-chip integration of photonic circuits can manipulate light signals on the same semiconductor framework as electronic signals,” reckons OPEL’s CEO Leon M. Pierhal. “This technology has the potential to overcome the constraints of copper interconnects in silicon-based chips, and it further validates the years of development invested in ODIS, as reflected in the potential market applications for POET technology, as well as its overall importance to our stakeholders,” he adds. “This is the baseline laser that will serve as the foundation device from which greater enhancements are projected and in the process of development,” Pierhal notes.

ODIS has also proven other optoelectronic devices, including HFETs, optical thyristors, oscillators, and super-radiant light-emitting devices, all able to be monolithically fabricated via the POET process. These devices are currently being validated for scale-up by a third-party fabrication facility.

The POET platform is also the basis for other ODIS projects, under various governmental agency grants, to provide next-generation optoelectronic devices. These include optical code division multiple access (OCDMA) devices for avionics systems, combined RF/optical phased arrays, optoelectronic directional couplers, and ultra-low-power random access memory (RAM).

See related items:

OPEL’s POET technology receives third-party valuation as it mulls its sale


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