Semiconductor Science

Problem: Applications that rely on semiconductor technology are expanding and improving at a very high rate.  All of those advances are based on new devices with enhanced capabilities.  This is especially true in high speed communications and some of the most advanced devices use Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE) as an integral and essential step in the device fabrication process.  The Air Force Research Sensors Directorate (AFRL/SN) is using MBE grown structures to fabricate laser structures that are a major advance over lasers presently available.  Measurement of the performance of these lasers is very difficult and such measurements are essential to direct the research and to verify models developed to predict laser performance.

Solution: AFRL and Ohio State University (OSU) have complementary research programs.  The AFRL program uses MBE to make unique laser structures.   The goal is to develop lasers with very specific transverse mode structures which provide a precise intensity profile across the laser beam.  OSU has developed a technique for measuring this intensity profile but has not had lasers with the characteristics of the AFRL lasers to measure.  Both parties, therefore, benefit from this collaborative effort.  AFRL gets detailed information about the devices they have fabricated.  This information not only assists in guiding the selection of the structures to be fabricated but is valuable in evaluating the computer code developed to predict laser performance.  At the same time, OSU gets the opportunity to refine the measurement process so that they have a more complete capability.  This laser fabrication/measurement cycle will be repeated as necessary for each party to reach its goals. 


  • Advances in the MBE growth process are enabling technology for wide range of high speed electronics devices that will determine the direction and growth rate for communications, radar, and computational applications in the Air Force and in the commercial market place.
  • The ultimate success of the laser development program may well hinge on understanding the interactive effects between the device parameters controlled by the device developer and the measurement results provided by the University.

Current Status:

  • Because of AFRL personnel and reorganization changes, future work is being evaluated.
  • The first set of Air Force lasers have been measured and the data has been delivered  to the Air Force.
  • Advanced devices have been fabricated and will be sent to OSU for re-evaluation.

If you have any questions about this Cooperative Research and Development Agreement or are interested in getting more information about technology transfer and CRADA projects, please contact Jim Singer at Wright Technology Network (937) 253-0217 or CRADA@wtn.org

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