SBIR Phase I: Extended Performance Red VCSELs

Award Information
National Science Foundation
Award Year:
Phase I
Agency Tracking Number:
Solicitation Year:
Solicitation Topic Code:
Solicitation Number:
Small Business Information
Photonic Development Group
6901 E. Fish Lake Road, Suite 19, SUITE 102/103, maple grove, MN, 55369
Hubzone Owned:
Minority Owned:
Woman Owned:
Principal Investigator:
Mary Brenner
(612) 210-4835
Business Contact:
Mary Brenner
(612) 210-4835
Research Institution:
This Small Business Innovation Research Phase I project will evaluate the feasibility of significantly improving the output power, temperature range of operation, and reliability of red VCSELs. The objective of the Phase I project is to develop a design approach for 650-680nm VCSELs that will increase the temperature range of operation by >20 deg C, improve the output power by greater than 30% and improve lifetime at 50 deg C to 3000 hours. The Phase I work will also provide the insight for even more substantial performance improvements for further developments. This project will use existing epitaxial wafers to test a novel fabrication approach for improving carrier injection and remove heat from the devices. This proposed work will enhance the understanding of the design features impacting the high temperature performance of red VCSELs. If the objectives are achieved, the activity will significantly improve the performance of red VCSELs relevant to commercially important applications. In addition to a more comprehensive understanding of the impact of the design parameters, the prediction of the limits of the technology will be estimated and modified. An understanding of the parameters affecting device reliability will also be developed. The approach proposed for this Phase I program breaks out of the traditional model for fabricating VCSELs, by implementing a hybrid integration approach that can impact the fundamental issues limiting the technology. If successful, the results will open up a wide range of commercial opportunities that would benefit from the performance characteristics of VCSELs, including plastic optical fiber for homes and automobiles, laser printing, industrial sensing, military LIDAR, and medical sensing. To date, the only commercially available VCSELs have been in the wavelength range of 780nm to 850nm, due to the materials challenges existing of devices outside this range. The proposed work may be applicable to a variety of VCSEL wavelengths (similar thermal issues exist on the long wavelength side, i.e. 1310nm to 1550nm), as well as other optoelectronic devices that may be limited by thermal issues. Commercially, a significant enhancement in red VCSEL performance can enable the migration of plastic fiber based home and auto networks to higher data rates (Gbps vs Mbps), can enable faster and higher quality laser printing, can facilitate longer distance and more precise motion control sensing, and enable new types of portable or wearable medical sensing that uses spectroscopic absorption or fluorescence for detection. The ability to bring this additional value to these applications in turn opens up a significant business opportunity for the suppliers of red VCSELs. The project also has an educational component, in that a student intern will assist on the project, and will develop an improved understanding of the technology, as well as exposure to the process of transferring technology to drive a business activity.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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