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Kaai Inc of Goleta, CA, USA, which aims to commercialize green and blue laser diodes based on indium gallium nitride (InGaN) for consumer applications, has recently demonstrated green laser diodes emitting at 523nm. This is claimed to be the longest-wavelength green laser diode operating in continuous-wave (cw) mode reported to date.
Direct-diode green semiconductor lasers offer dramatic improvements in size, weight, and cost over conventional gas or solid-state lasers and enable new applications in consumer projection displays, defense pointers and illuminators, biomedical instrumentation and therapeutics, and industrial imaging applications. In particular, for red–green–blue displays, lasers emitting in cw mode at the green wavelength of 532nm are targeted.
Longer-wavelength lasers have been reported previously, but only operating in pulsed mode, e.g. 531nm lasers fabricated by Japan’s Sumitomo Electric Industries Ltd (SEI) on semipolar GaN substrates and reported last July (Yoshizumi et al, Appl. Phys. Express vol2, p092101, 2009). Before now, the longest-wavelength laser operating in cw mode emitted at 520nm, also fabricated by SEI and reported last August (Enya et al, Appl. Phys. Express, vol2, p082101, 2009). Kaai’s lasers are fabricated on both nonpolar and semipolar GaN substrates.
Kaai was founded in 2008 by GaN-based laser pioneers professors Shuji Nakamura, Steven Denbaars and James Speck of University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB). The management team is led by Dr Richard Craig and includes commercial laser industry veterans. The vertically integrated firm operates a laser diode fabrication facility in Santa Barbara. Kaai is displaying its green and blue laser diodes in a private suite at this week’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES 2010) in Las Vegas, NV (7–11 January).
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