UK researchers have advanced world-leading Compound Semiconductor (CS) technology that may drive future high-velocity information communications.
A group from Cardiff University’s Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS) worked with partners to innovate an ultrafast and highly delicate ‘avalanche photodiode’ (APD) that creates much less electronic ‘noise’ than its silicon rivals.
APDs are extremely delicate semiconductor units that exploit the ‘photoelectric effect’ – when light strikes a material—to turn light to electrical energy.
Sooner, supersensitive APDs are in demand globally for use in high-pace data communications and light detection and ranging (LIDAR) techniques for autonomous automobiles.
A paper outlining the breakthrough in creating extraordinarily low excess noise and high sensitivity APDs is printed recently in Nature Photonics.
Cardiff researchers led by Ser Cymru Professor Diana Huffaker, Scientific Director of ICS and Ser Cymru Chair in Superior Engineering and Materials, collaborated with the University of Sheffield and the California NanoSystems Institute, University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) to advance the know-how.
Professor Huffaker stated: “Our work to make extremely low noise and high sensitivity avalanche photodiodes have the potential to yield a brand new class of high-efficiency receivers for applications in sensing and networking.
Dr. Shiyu Xie, Ser Cymru Cofund Fellow, said: “The outcomes we are reporting are vital as they function in very low-signal setting, at room temperature, and very importantly are suitable for the current InP optoelectronic platform employed by most commercial communication distributors.
The Ser Cymru Group inside ICS is now creating a proposal with collaborators at Sheffield for investment from UK Research and Innovation to complete further work.