SBIR Phase II: Extended Performance Red VCSELs
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
15350 25th Ave N, Suite 110, Plymouth, MN, 55447
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II project will demonstrate significantly improved output power, temperature range of operation, and reliability of red VCSELs. Commercialization of red VCSEL technology has been plagued by the limited temperature range and output power of the devices and unknown reliability characteristics. The Phase I project demonstrated the 1) feasibility of improving output power and temperature range through a number of techniques, 2) that the fundamental limit of the temperature range is at least as high as 125ýýC, and 3) dramatically improved reliability. The Phase II approach proposed here breaks away from traditional models for fabricating VCSELs and consists of a variety of growth and fabrication methods allowing us to provide a high thermal conductivity path from the active region to the package. The goals and expected technical results are to demonstrate > 0.5mW single mode, and >1mW multi-mode useful output power at 670nm at 85ýýC, and the same power output power objectives for 655nm at 65ýýC on a reproducible basis. This project will also demonstrate greater than 10,000 hours device lifetime at 85ýýC continuous operation. Project activities consist of design, wafer growth and fabrication, performance testing, and reliability testing. To date, the only commercially available VCSELs have been at 780nm to 850nm, due to the substantial materials challenges at other wavelengths. This proposed effort is applicable to a variety of VCSEL wavelengths (similar thermal issues exist at 1310nm to 1550nm), as well as other optoelectronic devices. Commercially, a significant enhancement in red VCSEL performance can enable the migration of plastic fiber based home and auto networks to higher data rates, faster and higher quality laser printing, longer distance and more precise motion control sensing, new types of portable or wearable medical sensing, and improved robustness and cost of radiography equipment. The success of this project not only creates a significant business opportunity for a red VCSEL supplier, but also enhances the competitiveness of customers by making available a valuable new technology. The reduction in power consumption and improvement in medical technology costs address particularly important societal issues.
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