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Polarization switching VCSEL (P-VCSEL)

Award Information

Department of Defense
Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Award ID:
Program Year/Program:
2010 / STTR
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
DARPA 09T003
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Ziva Corporation
6440 Lusk Blvd D-107 San Diego, CA -
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Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Phase 1
Fiscal Year: 2010
Title: Polarization switching VCSEL (P-VCSEL)
Agency / Branch: DOD / DARPA
Contract: N10PC20087
Award Amount: $98,924.00


Ziva Corporation in collaboration with UCSB will assess the feasibility of developing a directly modulated polarization switching laser based on the Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) geometry with a 3dB frequency of at least 10 GHz. This will be a major breakthrough in the ability to cost effectively fabricate directly modulated lasers (even in 2-D arrays) with polarization diversity which has hitherto been only possible by using expensive, bulky and lossy external modulators. The basic principle that we propose relies on the fact that the polarization of a diode laser optical output can be influenced by the direction of the current flow. As opposed to the horizontal geometry of a waveguide diode laser, the vertical VCSEL geometry makes it possible to inject pump current in two orthogonal directions. Two electrode pairs can be placed orthogonally around the cavity and the resulting orthogonal current directions can overcome the built-in asymmetry given by birefringence to actively control the polarization of the emitted laser light. We believe that this new class of device will be critical for laser-detection-and-ranging (LADAR) applications, and will open up a whole new class of devices and applications which exploit high speed polarization modulation.

Principal Investigator:

Matthias Gross
Principal Scientist

Business Contact:

Marianne Knight
Business Manager
Small Business Information at Submission:

Ziva Corporation
6440 Lusk Blvd D-107 San Diego, CA 92121

EIN/Tax ID: 680524007
Number of Employees:
Woman-Owned: No
Minority-Owned: No
HUBZone-Owned: No
Research Institution Information:
UC Santa Barbara
Electrical and Computer
Santa Barbara, CA 93106
Contact: Larry Coldren
Contact Phone: 8058934486