Germanium can become the main epi-platform for GaAs photonics

Electro-Optic Materials

Although heteroepitaxy - the growth of one material system on another - has had several successes, the first one occured in the 1990s, when the satellite industry switched from silicon cells to those based on triple-junctions to boost efficiency. By 1997, lattice-matched triple-junction cells grown on germanium substrates led the way, because those produced on GaAs were too brittle to survive the harsh rocket launch. 

Germanium has conquered space as the substrate of choice. Will it be able to do the same on terrestrial applications? Bendix De Meulemeester, business development director at Umicore, thinks so in his opinion piece that appeared in Compound Semiconductor.

Since the early 2000s, VCSEL technology has known a steady growth. Since the beginning they have been grown on GaAs substrates, but as new interesting applications as 3D Sensing on smartphones or ADAS LiDAR systems start to emerge, new challenges for the industry appear. Challenges for which germanium comes forward as an excellent solution.

“The question is not if, but when germanium will become the main epi-platform for GaAs photonics”.

- Bendix De Meulemeester

Want to know how germanium can make the difference for GaAs based optoelectronics?

Read Bendix's opinion piece

Want more information about Germanium substrates ?
Read more here