March 27, 2009--The U.K.'s Technology Strategy Board (Martlesham Heath, England) invested $2.8 million dollars in a follow-on collaborative project to develop integrated indium phosphide (InP)-based photonic devices and new active materials. The three-year project is called ETOE II (Extended Temperature OptoElectronics), and continues the successful collaboration by the same partners in ETOE I (see www.laserfocusworld.com/articles/247676).
The project is part of the Technology Strategy Board's Collaborative Research and Development programme, which supports the research and development of new technologies that will underpin products and services of the future. The organizations involved are CIP Technologies (CIP), Bookham Technology, SAFC Hitech, Loughborough Surface Analysis (LSA), the University of Sheffield, and the University of Surrey.
The new project has two main thrusts. The first is the development of reliable aluminium-containing active photonic devices, to support the high temperature operation of advanced functions such as integrated semiconductor optical amplifiers and electro-absorption modulators (SOA-EAMs), and widely tunable lasers with integrated MZ modulators (digital supermode distributed Bragg reflector with Mach Zehnder interferometer). A second, longer-range element of the project is to look at alternative active layer materials for InP and GaAs devices, including nitrogen, antimony and bismuth.
What is not always appreciated is that for each watt of power consumed within a device on an equipment card, another two watts can be required to remove the heat it produces from the building. This is particularly important for optoelectronic components such as lasers and amplifiers, because their operating temperature ranges need to be controlled with local thermoelectric cooling--wasting yet more power. ETOE II will tackle this power efficiency problem by raising the allowable operating temperature range of optoelectronic components, and reducing or eliminating the fundamental need for cooling.
CIP's Ian Lealman, project manager for ETOE II said, "This project builds on successful technology developed under ETOE I, and I confidently expect it will result in advanced monolithic photonic devices offering higher speed operation, wider temperature performance and greater tuneability."
For more information, go to www.ciphotonics.com.