Gallium nitride on silicon carbide blue-emitting laser operates at room temperature
Room-temperature operation of an electrically pulsed gallium nitride (GaN) based blue-emitting (403-nm) semiconductor laser has been demonstrated by scientists at Cree Research (Durham, NC). Preliminary measurements indicate a device lifetime of more than a few minutes, while output power and efficiency have yet to be calculated. The lasing threshold of the multiple-quantum-well device is 1.2 A at 42 V. The device was fabricated with the company`s silicon carbide wafers combined with a proprietary GaN thin-film process.
Cree has been working on development of a blue-emitting semiconductor laser for the past two years, partly funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). DARPA is interested in short-wavelength lasers for high-capacity military data storage, chemical biological-reagent sensing, and covert communications. Potential commercial applications include mass-storage optical recording systems, CD-ROM, CD audio, and DVD.