13 October 2020
BluGlass demos working 405, 420 and 450nm laser designs
In an update on its laser diode product development, BluGlass Ltd of Silverwater, Australia says that its laser diode business unit has made progress in all three of its development areas: technology, product development and manufacturing preparedness.
Laser diode technology & product development
BluGlass is developing a range of laser products targeting what it describes as unmet needs in the gallium nitride (GaN) laser industry. These products include standard laser diode designs and novel, remote-plasma chemical vapor deposition (RPCVD) tunnel-junction designs, for multiple market segments, including industrial, display and biotech applications.
The firm remains on track to deliver initial sample products of one of its standard laser diode designs to customers for testing in 2020 and into early 2021, on the back of promising technical results in three of its laser diode product development roadmaps.
Three different standard laser designs (emitting at wavelengths of 405, 420 and 450nm) are demonstrating lasing behaviour, following multiple process steps in fabrication into test devices.
The 405nm design is also showing good performance, approaching commercial specifications in brightness. These results have been verified through multiple fabrication vendors, as BluGlass qualifies both it’ss laser diode designs and its manufacturing supply chain simultaneously.
The laser diode devices are being simulated and modelled, designed and then grown on wafers at BluGlass’ Australian manufacturing facility. They are then shipped to the USA for multiple wafer processing steps including cleaving (being cut into individual laser chips) before final optical coating (insertion of coated mirrors to enhance the directional emission/lasing), packaging and burn-in testing (performance reliability testing of 100,000 hours).
There are several customer engagement points that can be initiated at different stages of performance throughout the manufacturing process. Some customers order custom laser diode wafer development, or R&D devices, before any of the downstream processing steps are required. Other customers require uncoated or unpackaged laser diodes or pre-burn-in prototypes for custom applications or preliminary evaluation, with others requiring fully processed and packaged lasers.
BluGlass’ target customers range from global research institutions requiring custom laser development to OEMs and distributors. The firm says that it is establishing collaborative customer relationships to develop customized solutions in several of its target markets.
Manufacturing preparedness and supply chain qualification
Product development results from wafers grown earlier in the year were initially delayed due to supply chain impacts caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. As a result, BluGlass has diversified its supply chain, and is qualifying multiple providers in each segment of the supply chain around the world to help mitigate future delays and ensure that it is working with the best suppliers in each segment.
Processing timelines from design and epitaxial growth through to initial testing have now been significantly expedited. Full supply chain qualification is expected to complete on schedule in this quarter.
The firm’s US test facility is now fully operational. Its US-based team has grown with the addition of two, industry-experienced laser diode testing engineers.
Laser diode product suite
BluGlass says that it is developing bespoke lasers across multiple market segments. Current product development covers a range of wavelengths from violet (395nm), blue and through to green (525nm) for various customer applications.
BluGlass says that its laser diode development, international supply chain qualification and US test facility staffing have all progressed in line with its published goals towards its commercial manufacturing milestone.
The firm now has a number of working laser diode designs, including the 405nm design which is approaching the commercial product specifications for sample customer products.