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Ganvix signs epitaxy deal to develop green VCSELs

01 Dec 2022

Agreement with equipment provider BluGlass aiming to produce surface-emitting devices based on gallium nitride.

Ganvix, the US startup company developing blue vertical cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) based on nanoporous gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor material, has agreed a collaboration with equipment firm BluGlass to adapt the technology to make green emitters.

According to Ganvix, which is also working with researchers at Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute (ITRI), the novel approach enables fabrication of VCSELs entirely from epitaxially grown GaN without introducing any crystalline defects or lattice mismatch.

Meanwhile Australia-based BluGlass has been developing a novel deposition technique called remote plasma chemical vapor deposition (RPCVD), which differs from metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) and molecular beam epitaxy (MBE), the two methods more typically used to produce laser diodes.

“Surface-emitting lasers require distributed Bragg mirrors (DBRs) to enable their unique properties, and while highly successful in other materials, have been prohibitively difficult to fabricate in GaN,” explained the Sydney-headquartered company.

“Under the paid development agreement, BluGlass will provide Ganvix with green quantum-well epitaxy services using its proprietary RPCVD technology.

“BluGlass’ unique technology offers key performance advantages for green wavelengths, to enable higher power, brighter green performance. RPCVD complements Ganvix’s DBR technology for GaN VCSELs.”

AR/VR headset displays
Green VCSEL are expected by some to find significant market applications across the consumer electronics, industrial and medical sectors - perhaps most obviously in augmented and virtual reality headsets, where the tiny size of the emitters would be an advantage.

Ganvix has said previously that “near-term” applications of its technology could include red, green, and blue VCSEL light engines for laser scanning displays, and laser arrays for free-space and optical communications using polymer fibers.

CEO John Fijol added in a BluGlass release: “This significant collaboration to combine nanoporous VCSEL architecture with BluGlass’ unique RPCVD technology provides a path to bring green GaN VCSELs to market.

“There are many high-growth markets for this exciting technology, including advanced applications such as augmented and virtual reality headsets, pico projectors, and 5G wireless communications.”

BluGlass president Jim Haden commented: “Our unique low-temperature, low-hydrogen growth technology enables brighter, higher performing green quantum-wells - the key light-emitting region in lasers.

“This collaboration highlights the significant competitive advantages of RPCVD, which transform how GaN lasers are made to improve performance.

“Our collaboration with Ganvix will advance our RPCVD roadmaps and expands our market opportunity. Importantly, the collaboration complements our own product and commercialization roadmap, which is focused on edge-emitting laser diodes.”

Under the terms of the agreement BluGlass will initially receive payment for its services, with the potential for further purchases if the commercialization effort proves successful.

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