Veeco Instruments : Do you have the right process tools for manufacturing photonics devices in high volume?

The growth outlook for the photonics market is promising thanks to the exploding demand for data-particularly in the midst of the global stay-at-home economy-and the rise in cloud computing and IoT applications. According to Yole Développement, by 2025, the data transmission market will nearly double its 2020 levels, with data communications (24% annual growth) and telecommunications (14% annual growth) serving as the primary drivers.

Unprecedented investments in data centers over the past five years will continue to dominate growth in the datacom space. According to IDC and Seagate, data consumption will grow from around 44 terabytes in 2019 to over 175TB in 2025. In addition, much of the data generated will need real-time processing.

For both datacom and telecom, optical signal transmission enables faster networks. This is driving increased demand for photonics devices, particularly indium phosphide edge emitting lasers (InP EELs) at 1.3/1.5 micron wavelengths; gallium arsenide vertical-cavity surface emitting lasers (GaAs VCSELs) at 850nm; and photodetectors. High performance and reliable devices with excellent uniformity are vital for these applications. Multiple technologies play a key role in enabling reliable high-volume manufacturing at scale. This paper discusses the advanced processes required to manufacture photonics devices in high volumes, and what is required of today’s process tools to make that happen.

Why MOCVD Matters: Efficiency and Reliability

Two of the main parameters vital to photonics devices are power conversion efficiency (PCE) and reliability. Metal oxide chemical vapor deposition (MOCVD) impacts two key aspects of PCE: external efficiency and series resistance.

External efficiency must be high to achieve optimal PCE, and is affected by:

  • Materials quality. Lasers are made from materials synthesized by MOCVD-the better the quality of the materials, the better the external efficiency.
  • Interface sharpness. Since compound semiconductors comprise many layers of different materials, the MOCVD system must enable the sharpest possible interface between layers… Full article