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.

Related Articles


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 November 22, 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 November 22, 2014).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Matter & Energy News

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

Toyota's Hydrogen Fuel-Cell Green Car Soon Available in the US

AFP (Nov. 21, 2014) Toyota presented its hydrogen fuel-cell compact car called "Mirai" to US consumers at the Los Angeles auto show. The car should go on sale in 2015 for around $60.000. It combines stored hydrogen with oxygen to generate its own power. Duration: 01:18 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Google Announces Improvements To Balloon-Borne Wi-Fi Project

Newsy (Nov. 21, 2014) In a blog post, Google said its balloons have traveled 3 million kilometers since the start of Project Loon. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

NSA Director: China Can Damage US Power Grid

AP (Nov. 20, 2014) China and "one or two" other countries are capable of mounting cyberattacks that would shut down the electric grid and other critical systems in parts of the United States, according to Adm. Michael Rogers, director of the National Security Agency and hea Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Latest Minivan Crash Tests Aren't Pretty

Newsy (Nov. 20, 2014) Five minivans were put to the test in head-on crash simulations by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. 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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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