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HexaTech Validates AlN Substrate Platform For UV-C Laser Fabrication With Record-Breaking Lasing Performance

MORRISVILLE, N.C., Feb 4, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- In a parallel effort to its development of UV-C light emitting diodes (LEDs), HexaTech recently demonstrated optically pumped, AlGaN-based lasers grown on highest-quality, single crystalline AlN substrates. Laser structures fabricated at HexaTech and tested in collaboration with North Carolina State University (NCSU) featured lasing thresholds as low as 85 kW/cm2 at wavelengths of 264 and 280 nm. This not only represents record-breaking laser performance, but also further validates the value proposition of HexaTech's AlN substrate platform for UV-C opto-electronic applications.

"Our recent results show convincing evidence of the feasibility of a solid-state UV-C laser," commented Dr. Andy Xie. "The tests not only demonstrate lasing at low pump intensities, but we also observed emission peak line widths as narrow as 0.02 nm, and further telltale signs of a properly operating laser, including spectrally resolved cavity modes, TE-mode polarization, and elliptically-shaped far-field patterns."

The observed lasing at low pump intensities is an important milestone toward the development of semiconductor lasers operating at short wavelengths in the UV-C range. Enabled by HexaTech's industry-leading, low dislocation density bulk aluminum nitride (AlN) substrates, these results add to the record-breaking UV-C LED and laser performance reported by other groups. The use of high-quality, native AlN substrates that are lattice-matched to the overgrown III-nitride device layers allow for fabrication of opto-electronic devices of superior structural quality, and, thus, previously unachievable performance. 

There is a growing market opportunity for UV-C lasers used for chemical, biological, and explosive material detection. "HexaTech's core expertise in AlN crystal growth and wafer fabrication has already led to the development of world-class UV-C LEDs with previously unachievable device lifetimes," noted Joe Grzyb, HexaTech CEO. "Our AlN substrate platform, again, advances UV-C opto-electronics to new levels of performance."

Further technical details will be published in the scientific literature in the near future.

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