nanoplus Nanosystems and Technologies GmbH
NP is an SME which was founded 1998 as spin off from Würzburg University. The company focuses on the development of customer specific optoelectronic devices for sensor applications. The company with currently 65 employees, has two clean room facilities (class 100-10000) with 250 m2 and 300 m2,respectively. A complete process line for semiconductor laser fabrication is available, comprising mask aligners for optical lithography as well as systems for electron beam lithography, different dry etch systems, sputter systems, evaporators, laser mounting facilities, etc. The key products of nanoplus are complex coupled distributed feedback lasers. In these lasers, complex coupling is obtained by combining a ridge waveguide with metal gratings on top of the waveguide layer on both sides of the laser ridge. DFB lasers realized by this technique in the InGaAs/AlGaAs material system have a high single mode yield (>90%), high sidemode suppression ratio (>40dB) combined with low back reflection sensitivity and thresholds and efficiencies, which correspond to those of Fabry Perot lasers realized from the same layers. The nanoplus GmbH manufactures and sells DFB and Fabry-Perot laser diodes in the wavelength range from 0.7 up to 2.9 μm for sensing and spectroscopic applications. As base material for the lasers GaAlAs/InGaAs, InGaAsP, GaInAsN and GaInAsSb heterostructures are used. In addition, nanoplus offers QCL DFB lasers at certain wavelengths between 7μm and 12 μm for specific applications. Previous work within national and international cooperations has also allowed NP to acquire significant experience in long wavelength device processing based on Quantum Cascade as well as Interband Cascade material. nanoplus has e.g. coordinated in the European research project SENSHY (www.senshy.eu) for the development of GaSb based devices in the 3.0 – 3.4 μm wavelength range.
The University of Würzburg
The chair for „Technische Physik at the Universität Würzburg – previously held by Prof. Alfred Forchel and currently held by Prof. Martin Kamp – has become a leading center for technology and characterization of novel III – V materials and related nanophotonic devices during the last decade. The group operates a clean room (Microstructure Laboratory) with a total area of 550m2. A complete technology chain for III-V semiconductor processing is available, ranging from dedicated MBE systems for quantum well and quantum dot heterostructure growth in different material systems to high resolution electron beam systems, focused ion beam systems, different dry etching systems, metallization systems etc. In depth material and device characterization tools are available including scanning electron microscopy, transmission electron microscopy, secondary ion mass spectroscopy, atomic force microscopy, Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy, electro-optic laser characterization setups, etc. The chair has about 50 staff members including students. The main research topics are related to studies of low dimensional semiconductor systems, including work in the field of nanoelectronic and optoelectronic devices. More specifically, the department has established the growth and processing of semiconductor lasers in different material systems (GaAs, InP, GaSb), including diode lasers, quantum cascade lasers and interband cascade lasers. UWUERZ has played a leading role in the development of GaSb diode lasers for gas sensing applications. Recent research highlights are the demonstration of room temperature cw operation of type II diode lasers at wavelength as long as 2.8 μm. Furthermore, cw operation of GaSb distributed feedback lasers at ~2.4 μm, ~2.6 μm and ~2.8 μm has been obtained. Additionally, coupled cavity laser designs have been employed to GaSb diode lasers for exploitation of the full gain bandwidth with widely tunable single mode emitting devices on one chip.
Wrocław University of Technology
WRUT will be represented in the project by the Laboratory for Optical Spectroscopy of Nanostructures at Institute of Physics headed by Prof. Jan Misiewicz and having 8 persons of permanent research staff and 10 PhD students. The laboratory specializes in application of different optical techniques for characterization of low dimensional semiconductor structures and has the necessary facilities: 6 laboratory rooms with 12 independent setups. They allow to realize various kinds of spectroscopic measurements as: modulation spectroscopy (photoreflectance, contactless electroreflectance), photoluminescence, including high spatial and spectral resolution option (microphotoluminescence) and time-resolved photoluminescence, photoluminescence excitation and pump-probe technique of measuring the time resolved response of differential transmission or reflectivity. The equipment is based on spectrometers and photodetectors (including the multichannel detection) allowing to cover a very broad spectral range of 0.2 – 17 m, cryostats for temperature tuning in the range of 5 – 400 K; different kinds of lasers and other light sources (including the tunable ones), and many others allowing for instance to conduct measurements under the hydrostatic pressure up to 18 kbar or magnetic field up to 6 T. The group has been involved in a number of international collaborations worldwide (e.g. Würzburg University - Germany, Stanford University - USA, McMaster University - Canada, NRC Ottawa – Canada, III-V Thales Alcatel Labs – France, EPFL - Switzerland) and in several framework EU projects of V-VII Framework Programmes (GIFT, CERION, ZODIAC, DeLight, SensHy) in the areas related to photonics and optoelectronics. The WRUT team has many years of experience in various kinds of optical spectroscopy including mid and long wavelength infrared range above 3 μm, which is proved by about 15 publications from the group within the last 3 years in that subject. It concerned optical characterisation of GaSb-based quantum well structures for mid infrared lasers, type II broken gap system as the active region of interband cascade lasers, type II InAs/GaSb superlattices for the infrared detectors and intraband transitions in quantum cascade lasers. Most of these studies employed a state of the art setup based on vacuum Fourier transform spectrometer with a custom designed external sample chamber for experiments with additional modulating light beam as photoluminescence or photoreflectance.
MACH8 Lasers is an R&D performing SME, founded in 2010 and located in Breda, the Netherlands. MACH8 Lasers is developing a new type of laser based on acousto-optical interaction for optical wavelength selection and laser tuning. The underlying principle has been patented and demonstrated in first prototypes and currently the initial product offering is developed. From an industry perspective MACH8 Lasers is a fab-less business-to-business (B2B) optical component manufacturer that supplies its technology and components to system integrators in the Sensing and Telecommunication markets. MACH8 Lasers is venture capital funded by two leading international high-tech investment funds.
NEO is an SME which was established in 1985 as a privately owned research oriented company within the field of electro optics. The company has since its start grown to be one of the largest independent research and development organizations in electro optics in Norway. NEO has been a pioneer in developing gas monitoring instruments based on spectroscopic techniques utilizing the unique spectral properties of tunable diode lasers in the near-infrared. This work has resulted in a wide range of gas monitoring instruments for a number of applications in industrial process and emission control capable of measuring very low concentration levels when required. This has given us a basic understanding of spectroscopic methods for measurement of gas concentrations, and has also provided us with the necessary knowledge of modulation and detection techniques and signal processing which is needed in order to realize a gas monitoring instrument with the required performance. The instruments have been widely accepted by the industrial users and NEO has close to 5000 instruments installed in more than 30 countries in Europe, America, Asia, and Australia.
AIR is an SME which was founded 2010. The company is focused on the design of high performance tunable diode laser analyzers. The people behind Airoptic have been involved in the developing of tunable diode laser gas monitoring instruments for more than two decades, including the development of a wide range of gas monitoring instruments for applications in industrial process analytics and in medical breath analysis. Our specialities are in the field of optical design, electronics and signal processing and applications for high performance TDL systems. The company has currently customers in Germany, Sweden, Switzerland and USA. A substantial focus and resources are put on the development of novel analyser products, such as the stand-off TDL sensor system for detection of intoxicated drivers. The role of Airoptic in this project is to specify and characterize the performance of the lasers developed by our partners and to design TDL spectrometers optimized for the selected application. This includes optical design, design of analog and digital signal processing electronics and spectral algorithms.