25 March 2010


DARPA solicits proposals for Compact Mid-Ultraviolet Technology program

The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has issued a pre-solicitation notice seeking research proposals in the area of efficient mid-ultraviolet (200-300nm) emitter technology.

The goal of the ‘Compact Mid-Ultraviolet Technology’ program is to develop the essential heteroepitaxy, waveguides, cavities, and contacts to enable efficient light-emitting diodes and chip-scale semiconductor laser diodes operating at wavelengths below 275nm.

The program will therefore pursue two tracks targeting:

  1. high-power high-efficiency mid-UV LEDs at 250–275nm; and
  2. miniature mid-UV lasers operating at 220–250nm (without nonlinear frequency conversion) to the extent that an overall footprint and performance competitive with a semiconductor solution can be reasonably achieved.

Such UV devices should significantly improve the size, weight, power, and capability of chemical/biological-agent detectors, portable water purification illuminators, and many other UV-dependent applications with respect to existing systems.

DARPA says that proposed research should investigate innovative approaches that enable revolutionary advances in science, devices, or systems. Specifically excluded is research that primarily results in evolutionary improvements to the existing state of practice.

It is expected that the majority of the program will address the fundamental material and device challenges that currently limit the performance of Al1-xGaxN emitters in the mid-UV, but other approaches to a UV laser will be considered. The resulting materials, LEDs, and lasers will be subject to independent testing at a government facility to assess their performance.

Deadlines are are 30 April for proposal abstracts and 15 June for full proposals. The program manager and point of contact is Dr John Albrecht of DARPA’s Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) in Arlington, VI, USA.

It is anticipated that funding of $30–35m will be awarded across all program topics. Project length is expected to be 24–30 months.

Search: UV LEDs UV lasers