BluGlass in Australia has successfully demonstrated working tunnel junction laser diodes in a world-first proof-of-concept using its proprietary remote plasma chemical vapour deposition (RPCVD) technology.
The novel laser diode prototypes use the RPCVD tunnel junction technology, developed over many years for use in high-power products including laser diodes and high-brightness LEDs.
The process enables higher power and more efficient lasers for use in commercial applications such as 3D printing and industrial welding and this milestone helps confirm the potential of the RPCVD laser diode designs to address the critical performance requirements for high value gallium nitride (GaN) laser diode applications.
GaN laser diode applications in the industry are currently limited by optical and resistive loss in the magnesium-containing layers (the p-type layers) which leads to low conversion efficiencies, typically in the 40-45% range compared to the close to 90% in GaN-based LEDs. Almost half of the power consumed when operating GaN laser diodes is lost as heat due to the highly resistive p-type layers, traditionally needed to create the electrical circuit in a laser diode.
The BluGlass low temperature, low hydrogen RPCVD process eliminates the need for the highly resistive and performance losing p-type layers, replacing these with an RPCVD tunnel junction and second n-type cladding layer. This dual n-wave laser diode paves the way to significantly improve laser diode performance in the future.
The company says it will continue to optimise its RPCVD tunnel junction laser diode design, epitaxy and fabrication to maximise laser performance.
“This is an important validation of the potential of our unique RPCVD and tunnel junction technologies,” said James Walker, executive chairman of BluGlass. “This achievement is a testament to the efforts of our leading-edge team in developing a range of innovative laser diode products, including this world-first demonstration of dual-n-wave lasers. This has the potential to transform how laser diodes are made to help bring GaN lasers into a new era.
“While these novel lasers have significant development required before the launch of future RPCVD enhanced products; our significantly further advanced standard (MOCVD) laser diode product development continues to focus on solving reliability and improving our downstream production ahead of launching commercial products to waiting customers.”
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