DiLAN: Diode LAser manufacture using Nano-imprint lithography

Project title: DiLAN:  Diode LAser manufacture using Nano-imprint lithography

Project value: £1,088,373

Project partners: Compound Semiconductor Centre Ltd, Compound Semiconductor Technologies LtdCardiff UniversityUniversity of Swansea

Project summary: The inexorable growth in broadband communications has created an enormous market (50-100M units per annum) for low cost, single-mode semiconductor lasers emitting around 1.3-1.55um as sources in fibre optic communications to the Premises (FTTP). Current technologies deployed (such as Passive Optical Networking, PON) operate at line rates of 1.25-2.5 Gb/s. However, satisfying the massively expanding bandwidth demand will require implementation of new PON standards that require higher performance, lower cost laser sources. The UK industrial partners in this project are already significant materials and chip scale suppliers to this market.

The project addresses the replacement of a high cost nanometre-scale lithography step in the laser manufacturing process with a low cost, high throughput nano-imprint process to realise a cost saving of 20-30% in the Cost of Manufacture of the laser chip. This has the potential to increase the consortiums value share from  ~10% to >30% of the current chip market, which would be worth up to £130M to the UK economy with the first 5 years of introduction into volume manufacturing. However, to our knowledge, the nano-imprint lithography technique has not been implemented in volume semiconductor laser manufacturing, and so there is significant de-risking activity required to establish, qualify and yield engineer a new manufacturing process to unlock the productivity gains


PR announcement: UK manufacturing: CSC wins £1m Award

CSC are pleased to announce the award of a £1.1M Collaborative R+D project under the recent Innovate UK Materials and Manufacturing Call.  Project DiLaN: (Diode Laser manufacturing process using Nano-imprint lithography) will focus on the development of new manufacturing processes for semiconductor laser sources to service an enormous growth market in fibre optic communications to the Premises (FTTP).

Project Lead, Dr Wyn Meredith  commented, ‘The adoption of cloud services, video on demand and emerging IoT services are driving a massively expanding global data bandwidth demand. The UK is already a major player in the supply of high performance compound semiconductor materials and components that underpin the global fibre optic network. However, next generation high capacity networks will require higher performance, lower cost laser sources. Our project addresses the replacement of a high cost, nanometre-scale lithography step in the laser manufacturing process with a low cost, high throughput nano-imprint process to realise a cost saving of 20-30% in the Cost of Manufacture of the laser chip. However, there is significant de-risking activity required to establish, qualify and yield engineer a new manufacturing process to unlock the productivity gains and take this technology to market’. The consortium of CSC (Cardiff), Compound Semiconductor Technologies (Glasgow), Swansea and Cardiff Universities will collaborate to deliver a market solution with the target of transfer to high volume manufacturing in a timescale of 24 months.

More info at: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/uk-manufacturing-170-share-25-million-for-innovative-projects and https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploa...