VECSELs (Vertical External Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers)

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Compound semiconductors form the basis of modern optoelectronics technology, enabling specialised devices, such as semiconductor lasers, for applications in areas as diverse as optical data storage, telecommunications, and displays. VECSELs, a category of semiconductor laser, are becoming more and more popular because they offer wavelength flexibility from UV to near infra-red and Watt-level output in high-quality beams. However, existing VECSELs are cumbersome, expensive and of limited performance.


Researchers at the University of Strathclyde have developed a high power VECSEL in the 1.3 - 1.6nm spectral band as a new generation of laser sources for telecommunications applications. The new development is based on the use of gallium arsenide (GaAs); therefore it offers power-scalability and highly wavelength versatile lasers that can be produced readily and cost-effectively from a semiconductor technology base.

Key Benefits

  • High beam quality, brightness and power output
  • Can be mode-locked to produce ultra-short pulses
  • Has a simple, compact semiconductor structure


The new technology will be ideal for use in areas requiring efficient coupling of power into optical fibres and accurate wavelength selection and control, such as telecommunication.

Licensing and Development

The technology is protected by patent applications filed by the University of Strathclyde as WO2004/086578 and WO2004/086577.

Contact is welcomed from organisations interested in developing, licensing or exploiting this technology. Please contact quoting reference number 1539.

This project has received assistance from the Proof of Concept Programme managed by Scottish Enterprise.  The Proof of Concept Programme supports the pre-commercialisation of leading-edge technologies emerging from Scotland's universities, research institutes and NHS Trusts.