In a leap forward for laser technology, a team at University of California, Santa Barbara, has developed the first violet nonpolar vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) based on m-plane gallium nitride semiconductors.
This recent discovery by LED pioneer Shuji Nakamura and his research team at UCSB is an achievement in VCSEL technology that opens doors for higher optical efficiency lasers at greatly reduced manufacturing costs for a variety of applications.
VCSELs offer advantages over conventional edge-emitting laser technology for some applications. On-wafer testing of VCSEL arrays during the manufacturing process, for example, can save costs compared to edge-emitting lasers that require additional steps before they can be tested. VCSELs exhibit low threshold currents, circular and low divergence output beams, and are easily integrated into two-dimensional arrays.
The nonpolar VCSEL platform also provides high optical gain, which helps to increase optical efficiency of devices. “The nonpolar VCSEL could enable new products and applications, such as pico-projectors for smartphones, mobile cinema, or even automotive lighting,” said DenBaars, professor of Materials.
The enhanced laser performance and prospects for significantly improved cost-effectiveness demonstrated is likely to have important impact on future generations of flat panel displays, mobile phones and lighting.
This story is reprinted from material from UC Santa Barbara, with editorial changes made by Materials Today. The views expressed in this article do not necessarily represent those of Elsevier. Link to original source.