3 May 2022
Vector Photonics’ LIFT grant brings life testing of 3D metal printing PCSELs in-house
Photonic-crystal surface-emitting laser (PCSEL) firm Vector Photonics Ltd of Glasgow, Scotland, UK says that the LIFT grant from UK Government agency Innovate UK (which provides funding and support for business innovation as part of UK Research and Innovation) has enabled it to develop an in-house accelerated life testing (ALT) capability for its high-power PCSELs.
The 1030nm PCSELs are being developed for next-generation 3D metal printing as part of the project BLOODLINE (Bright Laser diOdes fOr aDvance metaL addItive maNufacturing systEms), which is also funded by Innovate UK but within the international Eureka project framework. Vector Photonics says that its high-power PCSELs have a unique combination of increased power, reduced cost and improved performance, enabling fast, high-resolution, 3D metal printing with less post-production finishing.
“The LIFT grant, which is for £100,000, comes from Innovate UK’s resilience fund, helping companies recover from the impact of COVID,” says principal development engineer Dr Calum Hill, who secured the LIFT grant. “We have used it to fast-track the development of our own in-house, life-test capability. By bringing this service in-house, we have helped accelerate the commercialization of high-power PCSELs, as outsourcing often causes delays.”
The BLOODLINE project has linked Vector Photonics with Japan-based laser epitaxy manufacturer QD Laser Inc (a spin-off from Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd) for wafer supply; a group of leading, industrial equipment manufacturers for product assessment; and the UK’s Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult for other testing requirements.