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Nanostructured LEDs send data

30 Aug 2002

For the first time, scientists transmit data using a quantum-dot LED emitting at 1.3µm.

Quantum-dot LEDs could make low-cost sources for short-range optical links, claim scientists in Germany and Switzerland (Electronics Letters 38 906).

Max Kicherer and colleagues at the University of Ulm and the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne say that they are the first to demonstrate data transmission at 1.3µm using such devices.

The single-mirror vertically-emitting LED sent data at 1 Gb/s. Based on a gallium arsenide (GaAs) substrate, the active region is built up by depositing indium arsenide on the GaAs surface, and then covering with an indium gallium arsenide layer.

The team claims in its paper that the semiconductor devices could become an efficient and cheap source for low data rate links at 1.3µm.

At room temperature, the LED emitted about 0.4 mW in continuous-wave mode with an injection current of 50 mA.

The team did not specify the range over which the data link operated.

Michael Hatcher is technology editor of Opto and Laser Europe magazine.

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