Marktech develops InP HBT epi technology for 5G large-capacity signal processing applications

Marktech Optoelectronics of Latham, NY, USA, a privately held designer and manufacturer of standard and custom optoelectronics components and assemblies – including UV, visible, near-infrared (NIR) and short-wave infrared (SWIR) emitters, detectors, indium phosphide (InP) epiwafers and other materials – has announced its in-house development of InP epitaxial crystal mass-production technologies for ultra-high-speed (5G) large-capacity signal processing applications.

The R&D was carried out under the direction of Dr Gako Araki, a 25-year expert in ultra-high-speed InP heterojunction bipolar transistor (HBT) and high-electron-mobility transistor (HEMT) epitaxial crystal growth technologies. A member of the Marktech team since 2010, Araki’s experience includes a progressive series of related R&D tenures at the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) and NTT Advance Technology, both in Tokyo, Japan.

Research was carried out in two distinct phases. Phase 1 consisted of ultra-high-speed InP epitaxial crystal growth technology development using small prototype metal-organic chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) equipment (4×4-inch). Phase 2 consisted of actual ultra-high-speed InP epi manufacturing using large mass-production MOCVD equipment, known as GAKOUS (10×4-inch). Given that true InP-HBT epi performance testing requires electrical characteristic evaluation on larger HBT devices, Marktech instead focused R&D on developing new manufacturing equipment that could produce InP-HBT epi with the necessary uniform quality, size and quality for large-capacity ultra-high-speed signal processing applications. These goals were achieved via a new crystal manufacturing method: carbon-doped indium gallium arsenide (InGaAs) growth without hydrogen.

Marktech says that its evaluation of the small MOCVD prototype derived from this equipment demonstrated favorable performance characteristics. It then performed high-frequency HBT electrical characterization on the prototype with equally favorable results. Marktech was hence able to conclude its development of the new GAKOUS InP HBT MOCVD epi growth production equipment, whose capabilities offer the necessary prototype growth technology reproducibility and uniformity for manufacturing quality control in ultra-high-speed InP epi growth applications.

As a final accompaniment to this R&D, Marktech developed a series of non-destructive electron mobility measurement systems. This included time-resolve photoluminescence testing with infrared wavelength area measurements, a technique which proved useful in the performance of InGaAs channel layer quality checks, as well as HBT gain estimates by p-InGaAs base layers during crystal growth and production. Using these techniques, it was determined that the small prototype 4×4-inch MOCVD system exhibited satisfactory performance with new organic materials, independent source injection and a narrow gap placed between the injector and surface to avoid complex surface reactions. As a result, Marktech has developed its new GAKOUS MOCVD system to produce InP epi that could offer the same performance and reliability as that of the prototype, yet with sufficient quality and uniformity for larger-scale commercial InP HBT and HEMT epi production volumes.

Our team’s commitment to proactive R&D efforts that address diverse or emerging market sector needs has been well-demonstrated over the years, whether that’s a 5G application, LiDAR, wearables, or others,” says CEO Mark Campito. “We look forward to working in partnership with key 5G industry players to help them achieve their device performance goals.