[Image: Likanaris / Getty Images]
BluGlass Ltd., a Silverwater, Australia–based supplier of semiconductor manufacturing technology for the photonics industry, has announced a paid development agreement with Ganvix Inc., an early-stage company based in Wilmington, DE, USA, that is working to develop and commercialize gallium nitride (GaN) vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). The ultimate aim of the partnership is to develop GaN VCSELs that emit at green wavelengths (between 515 and 525 nm).
“Nanoporous” technology for DBRs
Ganvix was formed to develop GaN-based VCSELs in the visible-to-UV range, using a proprietary “nanoporous” technology developed by company co-founder Jung Han of Yale University, USA, and exclusively licensed by Ganvix. The technology, according to Ganvix, enables fabrication of VCSELs from high-quality, epitaxially grown GaN without crystalline defects or lattice mismatches.
This facilitates the formation in particular of high-reflectivity, high-quality distributed Bragg reflectors (DBRs). Such reflectors, a crucial VCSEL component, have been difficult and prohibitively expensive to fabricate in GaN in the past, according to Ganvix, and thus have been a stumbling block to commercializing GaN VCSELs.
For green VCSELs in particular, Ganvix CEO John Fijol, in a press release accompanying the partnership announcement, cited the potential of “many high-growth markets,” including “augmented and virtual reality headsets, pico projectors, and 5G wireless communications.”
The BluGlass agreement
Under the paid development agreement with Ganvix, BluGlass will provide epitaxy services, using its own proprietary remote plasma chemical vapor deposition (RPCVD) technology, to grow the green quantum wells for the VCSELs. That technology, according to BluGlass, provides “key performance advantages for green wavelengths” in terms of power and brightness, and complements Ganvix’s nanoporous technology used to create the VCSEL DBRs.
BluGlass will receive payments for services from Ganvix—payments that BluGlass “does not consider material”—in the initial development phase. However, the Australian company expects material revenues from ongoing orders once the product has been successfully commercialized.
In late October, Ganvix separately announced the extension of another partnership arrangement, with the Taiwan-based Industrial Technology Research Institute. The company also said it had successfully demonstrated the first blue VCSEL based on its nanoporous technology. Ultimately, the company is targeting mass-producible micro-arrays of red, green and blue VCSELs for use in extended-reality applications, laser scanning displays, communications and other areas.