WATERVLIET, N.Y., June 17 -- Crystal IS Inc., a supplier of single-crystal aluminum nitride (AlN) substrates, was recently selected to participate in The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency's Semiconductor Ultraviolet Optical Sources (SUVOS) program -- also known as the Deep UV Program -- which aims to develop UV lasers and LEDs for biological agent detection and secret communication systems.
SUVOS specifically targets wide-bandgap semiconductors such as GaN and its various alloys for use as optical sources that can be integrated into modules and subsystems.
"Single-crystal native AlN substrates have the potential to enable the fabrication of high-performance deep-UV optical sources such as those sought under the SUVOS program," said Jon Whitlock, CTO of Crystal IS. "Record low dislocation densities, coupled with excellent matches in crystal structure, lattice constant and thermal expansion coefficient, make native AlN substrates an excellent choice for such applications. Current efforts to improve substrate size and uniformity and to better understand the role of impurities, if successful, bode extremely well for the development of cost-effective sensors based on deep-UV optical sources."
The SUVOS program, which began in 2002 and is expected to run up to four years, is being conducted in two phases: Phase I concentrates on the development of wide-bandgap semiconductor materials, and includes the design, fabrication and characterization of innovative optoelectronic device structures with operating wavelengths at 340 nm. In Phase II the emphasis will shift to the optimization of UV photonic materials and LEDs and lasers with operating wavelengths of 280 nm. In this phase, UV optical sources will be integrated into testbeds for demonstrations of biological agent detection and NLOS communications.
A number of corporations and universities are conducting research and development for SUVOS, including Brown University, Cornell University, Cree Inc., Crystal Photonics Inc., the Georgia Institute of Technology, Kansas State University, Pacific Scientific Instruments, Sandia National Laboratories, Science and Engineering Services Inc., and the University of South Carolina.
For more information, visit: www.darpa.mil/mto/suvos/ or www.crystal-is.com