Defining an Optimal Plasma Processing Toolkit for Indium Phosphide (InP) Laser Diode Production

The properties of InP which combine a wide band gap with high electron mobility, make it a desirable semiconductor for the manufacture of optoelectronic devices. A key application is communication and this is expanding rapidly with increased data traffic.

InP enables the manufacture of components that can operate at high frequencies allowing higher volumes of data. In particular it offers compelling advantages for laser diode manufacture delivering excellent functionality at a competitive price. When design and fabrication is optimised InP lasers provide high spectral purity and optical power, over a wide temperature range. Furthermore the achievable wavelength range of 1100 – 2000 nm is optimal for fibre optic communications. Establishing cost-effective processing strategies for the production of InP lasers therefore directly supports the advancement of communications to support the ever increasing demand for data transfer.

InP laser structure with a. surface distributed feedback and b. buried distributed feedback

Figure 1. InP laser structure with a. surface distributed feedback and b. buried distributed feedback

In this white paper we examine the role of plasma processing technologies in InP laser diode manufacture focusing on the relative merits of inductively coupled plasma chemical vapour deposition (ICPCVD), plasma enhanced CVD (PECVD), reactive ion etching (RIE) and ICP-RIE. A primary aim is to highlight the relevant characteristics of different processes and show how they can be optimally applied, in combination, to efficiently fabricate high performance lasers.

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This information has been sourced, reviewed and adapted from materials provided by Oxford Instruments Plasma Technology.

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