8 February 2022
ICS launches its first VCSEL for quantum applications
Integrated Compound Semiconductors Ltd (a spin off from the UK’s University of Manchester that designs, manufactures and tests RF and optical devices for 5G wireless, 10G/25G/100G telecom and datacom markets) has launched its VCS894.6-DP vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), designed specifically for atomic clock and quantum magnetometer applications.
VCS894.6-DP is a planar device, with single-longitudinal-mode emission at 894.6nm (the wavelength corresponding to the D1 transition line of Cs atoms). The device offers high mode stability, with side-mode suppression ratio (SMSR) of 25dB and narrow spectral linewidth of 40MHz, as tested at 80°C and 2mA. The device is suitable for portable applications enabled by a low temperature tuning coefficient of 0.07nm/°C and has undergone successful preliminary testing in an atomic clock configuration.
The VCS894.6-DP is the first commercial release in a portfolio of single-mode VCSELs for customers requiring narrow-linewidth, highly mode-stable devices for applications such as quantum. Enabled by the latest testing methodologies, the fabricated VCSELs are guaranteed to have single-mode emission at the point of packaging.
The VCSEL portfolio is built on scalable manufacturing processes through a partnership with Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC, a joint venture between Cardiff University and Cardiff-based IQE plc), which has developed the high-uniformity epitaxy process using metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) platforms.
“We are pleased to introduce the first product of our VCSEL portfolio for quantum applications. The specifications for such VCSELs are especially challenging and we are ready to support system integrators with VCSEL technologies that allow a pathway to market for commercial applications of quantum technologies,” says ICS’s VCSEL technical lead Dr Ioannis Kostakis. “Our combined capabilities and partnership with CSC allow us to develop highly customized VCSELs on volume platforms, and we are looking forward to supporting customers with narrow-linewidth VCSEL technologies beyond quantum applications,” he adds.
“Together with ICS, we are making high-performance VCSEL technologies more accessible,” says Dr Denise Powell, programme manager Quantum Technologies at CSC. “We have seen considerable advancement in quantum technologies over the last five years and we are excited to support ICS with the VCS894.6-DP product through high-uniformity GaAs-based epitaxy solutions. The techniques developed can be applied to other applications requiring stringent wavelength control.”