16 June 2022
III-V Epi completes SHARK-VECSEL project for University of Strathclyde
III-V Epi Ltd of Glasgow, Scotland, UK has completed the project SHARK-VECSELs (Supply cHAin for stRontium clocK Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers) with the University of Strathclyde. Funded by UK Government agency Innovate UK (which provides funding and support for business innovation as part of UK Research and Innovation), the £50,000 project has developed high-power, narrow-linewidth visible lasers for next-generation strontium-atom-based quantum atomic clocks.
“The SHARK-VECSELs project represents a significant developmental step in the commercialization of atomic-clock-based precision positioning and timing devices,” says Dr Jennifer Hastie, director of the Institute of Photonics at Strathclyde University. “III-V Epi used its MOCVD [metal-organic chemical vapor deposition] facility to produce an aluminium gallium indium phosphide (AlGaInP)-based VECSEL structure, which the University of Strathclyde used to realise lasers with greater than 130mW single-mode operation, at 689nm. This is the wavelength used to cool neutral strontium atoms in quantum atomic clocks.”
Quantum technologies play a mission-critical role in defence, security and other sensitive markets, but require low-volume production quantities. III-V Epi was set up specifically to address the needs of this low-volume, fast-turnaround market. The SHARK-VECSELs project has helped to consolidate III-V Epi’s critical position in the worldwide commercial quantum supply chain, the firm reckons.