Sensing photonics pioneer Rockley Photonics Holdings Ltd. has announced a silicon laser manufactured using micro-transfer-printing (mTP).
This is expected to reduce the size of Rockley’s spectrophotometer chips, which are already smaller in area than LED-based solutions currently used in wearables, the company said.
This could impact across a range of applications, including the design of wearable devices for the detection and measurement of multiple biomarkers. Silicon-photonics-based biosensing chips using mTP are expected to be available in 1H24, Rockley added.
The mTP technique has been developed through a multi-year partnership with X-Celeprint Ltd., the Tyndall National Institute at University College Cork in Ireland and the Irish Photonics Integration Centre (IPIC), with funding support from the Irish government (see Rockley Photonics to form R&D center in Ireland).
X-Celeprint’s mTP technique combines diverse, non-native components on a substrate – silicon, paper, plastic, ceramic, or glass. It has been proven to be one of the best methods for achieving heterogeneous integration and is being used for chiplet-style fabrication.
Leveraging the mTP process, the photonic IC technology will integrate a laser-generating “membrane” with a thickness of only 4 microns. The potential applications for this chip technology extend beyond biosensing and health monitoring into wearables, clothing, or XR/VR/AR headsets and glasses.
“I believe that this next-gen, heterogeneous integration platform will lead to several significant technological advancements, including higher densities of lasers, increasingly smaller chip sizes, and ultra-high-volume manufacturing,” said Aaron Zilkie, chief technology officer of photonics at Rockley, in a statement.
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