8 March 2021
Vector Photonics to work with QD Laser in BLOODLINE project
The project BLOODLINE (Bright Laser diOdes fOr aDvance metaL addItive maNufacturing systEms) is part of the first funding of UK Government agency Innovate UK to be allocated to a collaborative research initiative with Japan. The £1.5m project will commercialize the all-semiconductor photonic-crystal surface-emitting laser (PCSEL) technology of Vector Photonics Ltd (which was spun off from Scotland’s University of Glasgow in March 2020) for 3D metal laser printing. The 3D metal laser printing market is forecasted to quadruple to $10bn by 2025, according to the report ‘Additive Manufacturing with Metal Powders 2019’ from SmarTech Analysis.
The project is guided by the Eureka Network international development program, in conjunction with Innovate UK’s Japanese counterpart, the Japan National Research and Development Agency’s New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO).
Vector Photonics is leading the collaboration, which is supported by Japan-based laser epitaxy firm QD Laser Inc (which was spun of from Fujitsu Laboratories Ltd). Device reliability testing is provided by the UK’s Compound Semiconductor Applications (CSA) Catapult. A leading Japanese industrial equipment manufacturer will assess the generic laser chips for production.
“The opportunity for Vector Photonics to lead the UK side of BLOODLINE, with Japan, is an honour,” says Vector Photonics’ chief technology officer Dr Richard Taylor. “Professor Richard Hogg, chair of Vector Photonic’s Advisory Board, and I are the co-inventors of the PCSEL technology,” he adds. “We have both participated in research at the University of Tokyo and both lived in Japan. My research post was under professors Nakano and Tanemura. Professor Hogg’s research was in professor Arakawa’s Laboratory and at NTT Basic Research Laboratories in Tokyo. We have also already been involved in research projects with QD Laser Inc. All this has given us the essential collaborative experience, critical to winning this project.”