25 August 2020
CST Global employee wins IET Postgraduate prize
Adam McKenzie, a University of Glasgow PhD research student employed by III-V optoelectronic foundry Compound Semiconductor Technologies Global Ltd (CST Global) of Glasgow, Scotland, UK, has won an IET Postgraduate prize for his photonic-crystal surface-emitting lasers (PCSELs) project.
Critical to the development of quantum dot (QD) lasers, PCSELs achieve vertical, narrow-linewidth, single-mode emission, they can be tuned, and they are stable at room temperature. This has singled them out as the laser of choice for multi-gigabit transmission applications, such as in data centers, without the need for cooling.
McKenzie’s project was supervised by professor Richard Hogg of the University of Glasgow, in collaboration with Dr Kouichi Akahane of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NIICT) in Tokyo, Japan. The PCSELs were produced on the University of Glasgow’s metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) reactor, which is housed and managed at CST Global for industry-based PhD research projects such as this.
“PCSELs rely on the formation of nanometer-scale air voids within the device during the epitaxial regrowth process. The size and shape of these voids is used to tune the device characteristics, so our focus was on how they form at an atomic level,” says McKenzie. “This is Dr Akahane’s area of expertise, which we drew on in this collaboration. It has helped CST Global successfully develop tunable PCSELs and also strengthened the company’s in-house epitaxial regrowth capabilities still further,” he adds.
“Not only has Adam won one of only four IET Postgraduate prizes this year, awarded to PhD programs globally, but he also received an award from the Henry Royce Institute last year in support of a material characterization atom probe tomography project; this time a collaboration with Oxford University,” notes CST Global’s chief technology officer Andrew McKee. “On top of that, Adam holds an Industrial Fellowship from the ‘Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851’, which contributes to his university fees and expenses.”