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Berlin Researchers Buy Reactor For UV Work

A leading optoelectronics research group at the Technical University of Berlin has ordered a Thomas Swan system to develop high-brightness ultraviolet LEDs.

Researchers at the Technical University of Berlin in Germany have ordered a Thomas Swan MOCVD reactor that they will use to develop high-performance ultraviolet emitters based on AlGaN.

Aixtron will install the 3x2 inch wafer reactor at the university s Eugene-Paul-Wigner cleanroom facility, alongside two other MOCVD tools. The epitaxy kit, which features new control and safety systems, is said to have a maximum deposition temperature of 1400°C.

Michael Kneissl, the head of TU Berlin s experimental nanophysics and photonics research group, said, "Alongside our existing systems, [the new tool] will be a useful platform for us to develop high-aluminum III-nitride laser diodes and high-brightness ultraviolet LEDs."

Kneissl s group is part of TU Berlin s highly regarded Institute of Solid State Physics, which has a strong reputation in cutting-edge optoelectronics research. Other scientists at the institute include Dieter Bimberg, a leading exponent of quantum-dot laser technology.

Kneissl himself was previously a research associate at the Xerox Palo Alto Research Center (PARC), where he developed blue-violet laser diodes for high-resolution printing applications and rose to the position of principal scientist in 2004.

Since then, he has also fabricated current-injection laser diodes on bulk AlN substrates.

Aside from applications in high-resolution printing and next-generation optical data storage, ultraviolet emitters based on AlGaN could potentially be used to decontaminate dirty surfaces and water (see related stories).

Last year, the Korean LED manufacturer Seoul Optodevice and ultraviolet LED developer Sensor Electronic Technology signed a strategic partnership with the aim of scaling up production of AlGaN-based devices.

Kneissl s research group is also working on high-power InGaN lasers, green emitters, and GaN-based VCSELs.

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