DARPA’s Electronic-Photonic Heterogeneous Integration (E-PHI) program has successfully integrated billions of light-emitting dots on silicon to create an efficient silicon-based laser.
The breakthrough, achieved by researchers working on the program at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB), will enable the production of inexpensive and robust microsystems that exceed the performance capabilities of current technologies.
Defense systems, such as radar, communications, imaging and sensing payloads rely on a wide variety of microsystems devices. These diverse devices typically require particular substrates or base materials and different processing technologies specific to each application, preventing the integration of such devices into a single fabrication process. Integration of these technologies, historically, has required combining one microchip with another, which introduces significant bandwidth and latency limitations as compared to microsystems integrated on a single chip.
DARPA started the E-PHI program in 2011 with a goal of integrating chip-scale photonic microsystems with high-speed electronics directly on a single silicon microchip. Although many photonic components can now be fabricated directly on silicon, realizing an efficient laser source on silicon has proven to be very difficult. Traditional approaches to adding lasers – and by extension, gain material – on-chip include separately fabricating lasers on expensive wafers, which then have to be bonded onto silicon chips. This conventional bonding process requires extreme precision and time that drives up the cost of production.
In a paper published by Applied Physics Letters, engineers at UCSB showed it was possible to “grow” or deposit successive layers of indium arsenide material directly on silicon wafers to form billions of light-emitting dots known as “quantum dots.” This method of integrating electronic and photonic circuits on a common silicon substrate promises to eliminate wafer bonding, and has application in numerous military and civilian electronics where size, weight, power and packaging/assembly costs are critical.
“It is anticipated that these E-PHI demonstrator microsystems will provide considerable performance improvement and size reduction versus state-of-the-art technologies,” said Josh Conway, DARPA program manager for E-PHI. “Not only can lasers be easily integrated onto silicon, but other components can as well, paving the way for advanced photonic integrated circuits with far more functionality than can be achieved today.”
In addition to generating light emission on silicon, the UCSB team overcame “lattice mismatch”—a common problem in past efforts to grow non-silicon laser materials directly on silicon. The UCSB team proved lasers grown on silicon performed comparably to those grown on their native substrate. These results are now serving as a foundation for the development of other photonic components such as optical amplifiers, modulators and detectors.
A Washington State University mathematician has resolved how to defend against Future quantum computers, which are likely to have the processing power and algorithms to crack the encryption codes that safeguard internet data today. Nathan Hamlin, instructor and director of the WSU Math Learning Center, is helping to prepare for this eventuality
Sigma Labs today announced that it has received a contract from Honeywell Aerospace as part of a Defense Advanced Research Project Agency (DARPA) Phase II award to develop Integrated Computational Material Engineering (ICME) framework. Phase I work was completed earlier in 2014
The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has selected AeroVironment for the phase II preliminary design for the Tactically Exploited Reconnaissance Node (TERN) program. The 12-month, $19 million phase II effort seeks to conclude with subscale flight demonstrations prior to a planned phase III award decision, AeroVironment said in a press release Wednesday
Aurora Flight Sciences announced that it has won a contract to develop Defense Advanced Research Projects Agencys (DARPA) SideArm launch and recovery system Tuesday. Demonstration of the SideArm technology was a key part of Aurora's work on the Tactically Enhanced Reconnaissance Node (Tern) program
Lockheed Martin, in partnership with the US Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) and the University of Notre Dame, has demonstrated the airworthiness of a new beam control turret being developed for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and AFRL to give 360-degree coverage for high-energy laser weapons operating on military aircraft. A research aircraft equipped with the Aero-adaptive Aero-optic Beam Control (ABC) turret conducted eight flights in Michigan
Northrop Grumman has been selected by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) to develop and demonstrate advanced wideband digital antenna technology for next generation radio frequency (RF) sensors using active electronically scanned arrays (AESAs). The DARPA Microsystems Technology Office awarded Northrop Grumman an $11
France tests nEURON stealth combat drone with Rafale Jet, AWACS Aircraft
Indian Diplomacy Triumphs over US's Anti-Russia Sanctions Threat
GA-ASI tests Air-To-Space Lasercom System for Military Drones
First Radar Antenna for US Army’s LTAMDS to defeat Hypersonic Threats Built...
Mobile Phone Led Israelis to Destory Pantsir-S Air Defence Battery in Syria
China’s Z-10 Attack Helicopter Upgraded with Powerful Engine
Russia Developing New Attack Helicopter ‘Airborne Combat Vehicle’
Leonardo Delivers First 2 C-27J Transport to Kenya Air Force
Several joint production and direct procurement programs could be halted if the US and Europe carry through with their threat...
Sanctions-hit Iran has found ingenious ways to develop military hardware
Artificial Intelligence (AI) is rapidly permeating the defence industry to aid and improve human decision-making
Upgrade of Russias Sukhoi Su-30SM fighters to equip them with armaments, radar, sensors and engines from the more powerful Su-35...
US companies sanctioned by China for supplying weapons to Taiwan may be denied rare earth elements (REEs), which have critical...
While the US F-35 stealth aircraft has become one the fastest selling fighter jets in the world aircraft market, thanks...