Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Oxide Technology Enhances Performance Of Semiconductor Lasers

Date:
May 31, 1999
Source:
University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Summary:
A semiconductor oxidation process developed at the University of Illinois a decade ago has important new applications in the fabrication of advanced electronic devices, including a type of semiconductor diode laser called a vertical-cavity, surface-emitting laser (VCSEL).

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A semiconductor oxidation process developed at the University of Illinois a decade ago has important new applications in the fabrication of advanced electronic devices, including a type of semiconductor diode laser called a vertical-cavity, surface-emitting laser (VCSEL).

"The VCSEL is fast becoming one of the hottest items in the electronics industry," said Nick Holonyak Jr., the John Bardeen Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics at the U. of I. who led the team that developed the oxide technology. "Among its many uses, the VCSEL can serve as an optical interconnect for high-speed data communication."

Unlike conventional edge-emitting laser diodes (the kind used in compact disc players and laser pointers, for example), a VCSEL's optical beam is perpendicular to the chip surface. This not only simplifies device fabrication and testing -- which lowers production costs -- it also creates smaller structures that consume less power.

"Research performed in various labs has shown that the U. of I. oxidation process makes the smallest, most efficient and highest performance VCSELs to date," Holonyak said.

The power of the process, Holonyak said, is its ability to selectively oxidize layers of aluminum gallium arsenide buried deep within the device structure, creating an insulating "collar" around a VCSEL's conducting cavity.

"The oxide collar very effectively defines the electromagnetic field and confines the current within the aperture," Holonyak said. "The collar also controls the geometry of the optical beam, making it easier to couple the light into optical fibers for data transmission."

The oxidation process was discovered by accident in 1989, when Holonyak and graduate student John Dallesasse were investigating the effects of moisture degradation on crystals of aluminum gallium arsenide. By subjecting the crystals to temperatures of 400 degrees Celsius and high humidity, the researchers crossed a phase boundary where, instead of destroying the crystals, the chemistry created a smooth, solid oxide.

"Prior to our discovery, there was no known method for forming useful oxides in aluminum gallium arsenide or similar III-V materials," Holonyak said. "This was a real breakthrough in the preparation of these materials, which have been so important in the development of optoelectronic devices."

Holonyak, who is credited with the invention of the first practical light-emitting diode (LED) and the first semiconductor laser to operate in the visible spectrum, was the first graduate student of two-time Nobel laureate John Bardeen, a U. of I. professor who died in January 1991.


Story Source:

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


Cite This Page:

University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. "Oxide Technology Enhances Performance Of Semiconductor Lasers." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 31 May 1999. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990531072339.htm>.
University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. (1999, May 31). Oxide Technology Enhances Performance Of Semiconductor Lasers. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990531072339.htm
University Of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. "Oxide Technology Enhances Performance Of Semiconductor Lasers." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/1999/05/990531072339.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

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
Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Stranded Whale Watching Boat Returns to Boston

Reuters - US Online Video (July 29, 2014) Passengers stuck overnight on a whale watching boat return safely to Boston. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

Baluchistan Mining Eyes an Uncertain Future

AFP (July 29, 2014) Coal mining is one of the major industries in Baluchistan but a lack of infrastructure and frequent accidents mean that the area has yet to hit its potential. Duration: 01:58 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short

AP (July 29, 2014) The U.S. nuclear industry started building its first new plants using prefabricated Lego-like blocks meant to save time and prevent the cost overruns that crippled the sector decades ago. So far, it's not working. (July 29) 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