Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UT Engineers Achieve Low Cost Lasers Using 'Quantum Dots'

Date:
September 11, 1998
Source:
University Of Texas At Austin College Of Engineering
Summary:
Using a new technology known as "quantum dots", engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have created a semiconductor laser that can compete with much more expensive lasers used for data transmission, but at the lower cost sought by the telecommunications industry to address growing Internet traffic.

Using a new technology known as "quantum dots", engineers at The University of Texas at Austin have created a semiconductor laser that can compete with much more expensive lasers used for data transmission, but at the lower cost sought by the telecommunications industry to address growing Internet traffic.

The quantum dot technology has allowed engineers at UT's Microelectronics Research Center to use gallium arsenide, a chemical compound that is 10 times less expensive, to create the 1.3 micron laser wavelength in high demand by industry. Presently, commercial lasers that work at 1.3 microns are made from indium phosphide which is not only more expensive, but less heat tolerant.

"Because of the significant cost savings, the telecommunications industry has been pushing hard for a gallium arsenide laser that operates at this wavelength," said Dr. Dennis Deppe, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. He and his research team of Dr. Diana Huffaker and three graduate students announced the achievement Sept. 10 at the La Jolla Advanced Topics Research School '98, Semiconductor Science and Technology Conference in La Jolla, Calif.

The 1.3 micron wavelength is important because it allows optical fibers in telephone lines to transmit much more information over long distances and maintains truer sound and images in high speed data applications such as the internet.

Using quantum dots to create the lasers is a relatively new approach. Also known as "artificial atoms" because they have an electronic structure similar to natural atoms, the quantum dots are tiny clusters of semiconductor material that trap electrical charges. As the trapped charges lose their energy, they emit light, which can be used in high speed lasers.

Deppe and Huffaker found that by engineering the quantum dots, which are 20,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair, they could increase the laser wavelengths of gallium arsenide to record levels.

Incorporating the same technology last year, Dr. Deppe's group collaborated with Dr. Joe Campbell, a UT professor of electrical engineering, to use quantum dots to create the detector for this type of laser.

"To bring fiber interconnects to businesses, homes and computers, we needed inexpensive, gallium arsenide lasers that until recently did not exist at this wavelength, and until now did not perform well," says Deppe. "With both the laser emitter and detector demonstrated in the laboratory, the technology can become a reality. An especially important application to obtain low cost will be the Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser, or VCSEL, a device that is very difficult to make using indium phosphide technology."

Bar code scanners, digital video discs and read/write CDs also use VCSELs. Because of the longer wavelength, a variation of the quantum dot laser technology can also become important when future computer chips use light instead of wires to transmit information from chip-to-chip, noted Deppe.

"This is a major technical advance" noted Dr. Jack Jewell, formerly a distinguished member of the technical staff at Bell Labs and now chief technical officer of Picolight, an aggressive startup supplier to the data communications industry which wants to develop a gallium arsenide laser. "Dr. Deppe's work opens the path for commercialization and can trigger a large increase in industrial research and development of this technology."

Jewell estimates the laser is at least two years from commercialization.

Deppe's work is funded by the National Science Foundation and the State of Texas Advanced Research Program.

-30-

Photos can be found at http://www.engr.utexas.edu/comm/laser.htm


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Texas At Austin College Of Engineering. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Texas At Austin College Of Engineering. "UT Engineers Achieve Low Cost Lasers Using 'Quantum Dots'." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 September 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980911074800.htm>.
University Of Texas At Austin College Of Engineering. (1998, September 11). UT Engineers Achieve Low Cost Lasers Using 'Quantum Dots'. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980911074800.htm
University Of Texas At Austin College Of Engineering. "UT Engineers Achieve Low Cost Lasers Using 'Quantum Dots'." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/09/980911074800.htm (accessed July 30, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

China's Drone King Says the Revolution Depends on Regulators

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 30, 2014) Comparing his current crop of drones to early personal computers, DJI founder Frank Wang says the industry is poised for a growth surge - assuming regulators in more markets clear it for takeoff. Jon Gordon reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

3Doodler Bring 3-D Printing to Your Hand

AP (July 30, 2014) 3-D printing is a cool technology, but it's not exactly a hands-on way to make things. Enter the 3Doodler: the pen that turns you into the 3-D printer. AP technology writer Peter Svensson takes a closer look. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Climate Change Could Cost Billions, According To White House

Newsy (July 29, 2014) A report from the White House warns not curbing greenhouse gas emissions could cost the U.S. billions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins