IQE Joins â‚¬15m European Project To Establish Mid-IR Photonics Pilot Line
IQE, the advanced semiconductor wafer firm, has joined a new consortium, MIRPHAB (Mid InfraRed PHotonics devices fABrication for chemical sensing and spectroscopic applications), which will establish a pilot line to serve the growing needs of European industry in the field of analytical micro-sensors.
The â‚¬15m Pilot Line for mid-IR devices will receive funding from the both the European Commission's Photonics Public Private Partnership under the Horizon 2020 program (â‚¬13m) and the Swiss Government (â‚¬2m) (www.mirphab.eu).
IQE's role will be to provide consortium partners and commercial customers with a volume source of mid infrared laser epitaxial wafers.
The aim of the MIRPHAB is to establish a European-based production capability for mid infrared photonics devices. By bringing together high volume epitaxial wafer production facilities at IQE, along with key end users, the consortium will deliver an end-to-end production supply chain for a range of mid-IR devices for a wide range of infrared sensing applications.
Mid-infrared lasers and detectors are a key enabling technology in a wide range of applications where the precise and fast detection of chemicals in gases and liquids is required. Based on a massive use of IC/MEMS technologies, the pilot line will enable a variety of new key functionalities for next generation chemical sensing and spectroscopy, allowing cost, power consumption and size reduction.
Where required, the development of novel process modules exploiting the capability of a mixed Si/III-V technology will bring unexplored capabilities to sensors, opening the way to a number of applications not addressable with the technologies and components available today.
The rapid growth in demand for mid-infrared devices will be exploited by the Pilot Line in product areas which include: measurement and control of environmental pollutants from industrial manufacturing processes and automotive engines; stand-off detection of explosives and biological threats; non-invasive medical diagnosis; and specialised free space communication systems
In addition, the initiative will provide open access to the European photonics industry, focusing on innovative SMEs, catering for their requirements to prototype a wide range of Mid-IR devices for multiple end use applications.
Mark Furlong, VP of IQE's Infrared Business Unit, commented:"IQE has established a strong track record in the manufacture of compound semiconductor wafers for laser applications, so we are very pleased to participate in MIRPHAB and provide the consortium with a commercial source of mid infrared epitaxial wafers. With demand for mid infrared devices growing rapidly, supporting the pilot line with a high production volume capability for wafers will be essential."