GOLDEN, Colo., Oct. 10 -- Isonics Corp. and Atlanta-based Cermet Inc. have begun a joint development program to evaluate isotopically pure zinc-64 oxide as a substrate for manufacturing blue LEDs and blue laser diodes for next-generation optical storage and telecommunications. Cermet is developing single-crystal ZnO as a replacement for aluminum oxide and silicon carbide substrates for the manufacture of gallium nitride optoelectronic devices. The partners are interested in evaluating the possible improved thermal conductivity of isotopically pure zinc oxide. Isonics will supply isotopically pure zinc oxide powder that will be converted into single-crystal wafers by Cermet using its proprietary process. Thermal conductivity and other properties will be measured. Isonics will also supply isotopically pure zinc in the form of diethyl zinc for Cermet to fabricate various MOCVD-based devices. The program is expected to take 12 to 18 months.