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UNITRIDE - Unipolar Nitride Photonic Devices

Coord inated by Universite Paris-Sud XI, France
7th Framework programme
2009 - 2012
EU contribution of 1.4M€
This project aims at investigating the building blocks of an emerging semiconductor technology for high-performance photonic devices operating in the near infrared (NIR). We will make use of nitride semiconductors [Ga(In)N/Al(Ga,In)N] and engineer the electronic quantum confinement at the nanometer scale to realize unipolar devices relying on intersubband (ISB) transitions. While the existing NIR optoelectronic technology is dominated by InGaAsP/InP or GaInAs/GaAsSb-based interband devices, nitride ISB devices will provide superior performance and novel functionalities like wavelength tunability, speed, high power and temperature handling capabilities, temperature insensitivity and material hardness. It is important to outline the novelty of the research in nitride ISB devices, a technology whose performance capabilities and intrinsic limits remain unknown. Our approach consists in applying novel design concepts and recently-acquired know-how on nitride molecular beam epitaxy to the realization of nitride ISB devices with unprecedented performance. The project includes the development of innovative devices which have not been investigated so far, such as electro-optical ISB phase modulators or nitride-based unipolar lasers. The ultimate deliverables are ultra-high-speed electro-optical modulators, photodetectors and lasers. Establishing a new state-of-the-art for design, growth and processing of nitride heterostructures, and developing an advanced know-how on nitride devices are major challenges. The consortium regroups four world-class academic experts on nitride technologies, ISB devices and NIR optoelectronics. The strategy has been designed based on a careful assessment of the risk associated to all tasks. This project is expected to generate strong impacts in terms of photonic applications and IPR issues.