CSC partners with ICS to deliver 894.6nm single mode VCSEL platform for Quantum applications

Integrated Compound Semiconductors (ICS) today announces the launch of its VCS894.6-DP Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) specifically designed for atomic clock and quantum magnetometer applications, developed in collaboration with the Compound Semiconductor Centre.

VCS894.6-DP is a planar device, with single longitudinal mode emission at 894.6nm, the wavelength corresponding to the D1 transition line of Cs atoms. The device offers high mode stability, with side mode suppression ratio (SMSR) of 25dB and narrow spectral linewidth of 40MHz as tested at 80°C and 2mA. VCS894.6-DP is suitable for portable applications enabled by a low temperature tuning coefficient of 0.07nm/°C and has undergone successful preliminary testing in an atomic clock configuration.

The VCS894.6-DP is the first commercial release in a portfolio of single mode VCSELs for customers requiring narrow linewidth, highly mode stable devices for quantum applications such as atomic clocks and magnetometers. Enabled by latest wafer-scale testing methodologies, the fabricated VCSELs are guaranteed to have single mode emission at the point of packaging.

The Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC) developed the VCSEL epitaxy process using a metal-organic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD) platform. A high-uniformity growth process was established specifically to deliver the challenging requirements of an ultra-narrow wavelength tolerance, with enhanced uniformity across a 4” wafer platform. Epitaxy-level characterisation techniques have been enhanced in order to further increase yield and reduce the burden of post-fabrication, chip-scale screening.

The product development was part-funded by UKRI under the National Quantum Technologies Programme as part of a £1 billion of public and private investment in the commercialisation of quantum technologies.

Dr Ioannis Kostakis, VCSEL Technical Lead of ICS Ltd, commented:

“We are pleased to introduce the first product of our VCSEL portfolio for quantum applications. The specifications for such VCSELs are especially challenging and we are ready to support system integrators with VCSEL technologies that allow a pathway to market for commercial applications of quantum technologies. Our combined capabilities and partnership with CSC allow us to develop highly customised VCSELs on volume platforms and we are looking forward to supporting customers with narrow linewidth VCSEL technologies beyond quantum applications.”

Dr Denise Powell, Programme Manager Quantum Technologies at CSC, commented:

“Together with ICS, we are making high performance VCSEL technologies more accessible. We have seen considerable advancement in quantum technologies over the last five years and we are excited to support ICS with the VCS894.6-DP product through high-uniformity GaAs-based epitaxy solutions. The techniques developed can be applied to other applications requiring stringent wavelength control.”

About ICS

ICS specialises in the design, manufacture and testing of advanced RF and optical devices for 5G wireless, 10G/25G/100G telecom and datacom markets. The company based in Manchester, UK offers a range of devices and highly bespoke products through custom modelling capabilities.

About the Compound Semiconductor Centre (CSC)

The Compound Semiconductor Centre was founded in 2015 as a Joint Venture between Cardiff University and IQE Plc, with the mission of accelerating commercialisation of Compound Semiconductor Materials and Device Research and realising a tangible economic return on the UK investment in this key area of enabling technology. Based in Cardiff, the Centre was set up as a vital milestone towards developing a World-class Compound Semiconductor Technology cluster in South Wales.

For more information, please contact:


+44 161 873 7334

Compound Semiconductor Centre

Denise Powell

+44 2920 021 921