Blue Laser Fabrication Layer

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Researchers at the Institute of Photonics and Department of Physics at the University of Strathclyde have developed a patented technology of benefit to the semiconductor industry. This technology relates to gallium nitride (GaN) semiconductor devices which are most familiar as high-brightness, blue and green, LEDs. The Strathclyde team has established a strong track-record in nitride semiconductor growth research at an international level, and has proprietary know-how and the basis of a sound portfolio of related IP.


The new technology is an aluminium indium nitride or quaternary layer which provides a means to optically monitor, in situ, the growth of GaN devices on newly developed GaN substrates. This layer provides a contrast in refractive index which allows optical monitoring of the growth. This non-pertubative monitoring allows the layer thickness to be controlled with great accuracy. For all devices this avoids wasted materials and minimizes costly processing time. For many devices this will allow optimum performance and increases production yield.

Key Benefits

  • Enables new processing methodologies e.g. selective etching
  • Increased efficiency in growth cycle times
  • Increased yield in useable parts per wafer
  • Production of high accuracy parts
  • Production of high performance parts
  • Consistency of production of semiconductor layers
  • Reduction in material waste

Markets and Applications

  • This technology can be applied to a wide variety of GaN semiconductor devices. Any epitaxially grown gallium nitride family semiconductor may benefit from these techniques.
  • The devices whose manufacture will be improved include:LEDs (particularly resonant cavity LEDs), Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VCSEL) and HFETs.
  • These devices are used in telecommunications, data storage, displays, sensing and many other areas.

Licensing and Development

This technology is protected by a patent application filed by the University of Strathclyde as GB04/24957.9. Contact is welcomed from organisations interested in developing, licensing or exploiting this technology. Please contact quoting reference number 1603.