SBIR Phase I: Advanced InAlGaAs Oxidation for Photonic Devices
National Science Foundation
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Small Business Information
Vega Wave Systems, Inc.
1275 West Roosevelt Road, West Chicago, IL, 60185
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged:
AbstractThis Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project proposes to develop new manufacturing methods to fabricate photonic devices using the native oxide of InAlGaAs. The Phase I objective is to develop water-vapor thermal oxidation of InAlGaAs for the fabrication of photonic devices. A study of the oxidation properties InAlGaAs will be performed to establish the necessary control of oxidized structures for both vertical and lateral oxide applications. A process model for InAlGaAs oxidation will be developed for the oxidation rate as a function of temperature, gas flow, and Al composition. Both lateral and vertical oxidation rates and oxide quality will be investigated for variations with material thickness, molar composition, and heterointerface effects. Prototype oxide-based photonic structures will be fabricated and delivered in Phase I. In Phase II the technology will be extended to investigate the effects of mixed carrier gas using water vapor and oxygen oxidation. In addition, oxidation variation with n- and p-type doping concentration will be studied and fundamental material analysis will be performed. Commercially, photonic components with increased levels of optical integration are needed for fiber optic communications. Currently, devices are produced using etch and/or epitaxial regrowth technologies that are difficult to manufacture or increase the surface area of devices near p-n junctions. The significance of the innovation in this proposal is to study and develop InAlGaAs oxidation as a practical technique for manufacturing planar photonic integrated components.
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