Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

UH Research Paves Way For Better Lasers, Thin Film Devices

Date:
October 13, 1998
Source:
University Of Houston
Summary:
A joint research team from the University of Houston, Applied Optoelectronics Inc. (AOI) and Cornell University has won an intense race to develop a better way to build lasers and other optoelectronic devices. Just as the development of structural steel revolutionized the construction industry, this new technique dramatically expands the field of epitaxy, the process used to manufacture high performance semiconductor devices such as lasers, optical detectors, and microwave device and circuits.

A joint research team from the University of Houston, Applied Optoelectronics Inc. (AOI) and Cornell University has won an intense race to develop a better way to build lasers and other optoelectronic devices.

Just as the development of structural steel revolutionized the construction industry, this new technique dramatically expands the field of epitaxy, the process used to manufacture high performance semiconductor devices such as lasers, optical detectors, and microwave device and circuits. Dubbed the "compliant universal substrate," Dr. Chau-Hong Kuo of the Space Vacuum Epitaxy Center (SVEC), the NASA Commercial Space Center at UH, unveiled this new technique for creating epitaxial thin film devices last week, at the North American Molecular Beam Epitaxy Conference in Pennsylvania.

"This technique will allow us to create lasers and optoelectronic devices with better performance and lower costs by relieving a lot of the materials constraints," said Steven Pei, associate director for research at SVEC.

The compliant universal substrate concept was first proposed by scientists at Cornell University in 1996. Since then, research groups around the world have raced to produce the first device on the compliant substrate. "AOI initiated this research under a grant from the National Science Foundation's Small Business Innovation Research program," said Dr. Thompson Lin, president of AOI, a spin-off company from SVEC.

Epitaxy is a technique for growing single crystal materials on a base or substrate with atomic precision. A combination of layers might produce a laser, while another combination produces a high efficiency solar cell. However, traditional epitaxy faces one substantial hurdle: the substrate's crystalline structure must match the material being placed on top. It's like trying to align the grids on two pieces of graph paper-the grids must match. Currently, only a few substrate materials are available, fewer still are affordable. Thus, materials requiring substrates with different "grid sizes" can not be used, greatly limiting researchers' options.

The "compliant universal substrate" is like a grid printed on a piece of rubber loosely bonded to a conventional substrate. It expands or contracts to match the grid of the epitaxy thin film grown on top of it. By eliminating concerns about matching the grids on the underlying conventional substrate, the universally compliant substrate dramatically increases the choices of epitaxy thin films / substrate combinations for optoelectronic applications and may even lead to less expensive base / substrate materials.

Researchers from SVEC and AOI demonstrated the viability of the technique by building a mid-infrared laser on the new compliant universal substrate bonded to an otherwise incompatible substrate. The new structure significantly improved the laser's cooling, allowing it to produce more power. The NSF, Air Force and Ballistic Missile Defense Organization are currently funding the research at SVEC and AOI to develop semiconductor mid-infrared lasers for environmental monitoring and jamming of heat-seeking missiles

Although applicable to all epitaxy thin films, researchers expect this new technique will be most useful for developing lasers and other optoelectronic devices. For example, the development of blue and ultraviolet lasers has been hindered by the lack of an appropriate substrate. With the compliant universal substrate, researchers are one step closer to producing blue lasers for color display and high-density optical storage applications.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University Of Houston. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University Of Houston. "UH Research Paves Way For Better Lasers, Thin Film Devices." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 October 1998. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981013075043.htm>.
University Of Houston. (1998, October 13). UH Research Paves Way For Better Lasers, Thin Film Devices. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981013075043.htm
University Of Houston. "UH Research Paves Way For Better Lasers, Thin Film Devices." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1998/10/981013075043.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 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
7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

7 Ways to Use Toothpaste: Howdini Hacks

Howdini (July 30, 2014) Fresh breath and clean teeth are great, but have you ever thought, "my toothpaste could be doing more". Well, it can! Lots of things! Howdini has 7 new uses for this household staple. Video provided by Howdini
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
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