ITTC Project

Ultra-High-Capacity Optical Communications and Networking: III-nitride Wide Bandgap Semiconductors for Optical Communications

Project Award Date: 11-01-2001


The base of this project lies in the combined effort to develop novel photonics components and photonics integrated circuits based on III-nitride wide band gap semiconductors for fiber-optical communications. The concept of this development begins with the need of high-speed optical switches and wavelength routers for future packet-switched all-optical networks.

The present forums, such as InP-based array waveguide gratings (AWG) are not fast enough to perform optical packet switches. Moreover, due to hight refractive index of the material and small waveguide size, InP-based AWG have unacceptable high optical loss and temperature sensitivity. Thusly, this medium is problematic and the search for new photonics materials becomes the solution.

There are numerous benefits to III-nitride optoelectronic devices, including: UV/blue emission, and the ability to operate at very high temperatures due to their mechanical hardness and larger band gaps. Thus far the research in III-nitrides has been focused on their applications in the blue/UV optoelectronic devices. One application as such of III-nitrides in the 1550nm wavelength region is to make electrically pumped waveguide optical amplifiers. Moreover, III-nitride semiconductors appear to be excellent host materials for erbium ions. Since erbium has much higher absorption efficiency in the short wavelengths than the currently used pumping wavelengths of 980nm or 1480nm, the amplifier can potentially be made very short. A third advantage of waveguide optical amplifiers is the possibility of integration with other functional optical devices, such as integrated wavelength routers, light sources and detectors.

The concepts of this project are distinct from recent mainstream research and development efforts. Through its success, this research may bring a technological breakthrough in fiber-optic networks, as well as the introduction into commerical applications, all optic packet switches.


Faculty Investigator(s): Rongqing Hui (PI)

Student Investigator(s): Yueting Wan

Project Sponsors

Primary Sponsor(s): National Science Foundation (NSF)

Partner with ITTC

The Information and Telecommunication Technology Center at the University of Kansas has developed several assistance policies that enhance interactions between the Center and local, Kansas, or national companies. 

ITTC assistance includes initial free consulting (normally one to five hours). If additional support is needed, ITTC will offer one of the following approaches: 

Sponsored Research Agreement

Individuals and organizations can enter into agreements with KUCR/ITTC and provide funds for sponsored research to be performed at ITTC with the assistance of faculty, staff and students.

Licensing and Royalty/Equity Agreement

An ITTC goal is the development of investment-grade technologies for transfer to, and marketing by, local, Kansas, and national businesses. To enhance this process, the Center has developed flexible policies that allow for licensing, royalty, and equity arrangements to meet both the needs of ITTC and the company.

Commercialization Development

Companies with a technology need that can be satisfied with ITTC's resources can look to us for assistance. We can develop a relationship with interested partners that will provide for the development of a technology suited for commercialization.

ITTC Resource Access

ITTC resources, including computers and software systems, may be made available to Kansas companies in accordance with the Center's mission and applicable Regents and University policies.

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