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29 April 1999 Fabrication, packaging, and performance of VCSELs and photodetectors for space applications
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Optocouplers are used for a variety of applications aboard spacecraft including electrical isolation, switching and power transfer. Commercially available light emitting diode- based optocouplers have experienced severe degradation of light output due to extensive displacement during damage occurring in the semiconductor lattice caused by energetic proton bombardment. A new optocoupler has been designed and fabricated which utilizes vertical cavity surface emitting laser (VCSEL) and resonant cavity photodetector (RCPD) technologies for the optocoupler emitter and detector, respectively. Linear arrays of selectively oxidized GaAs/AlGaAs VCSELs and RCPDs, each designed to operate at a wavelength of 850 nm, were fabricated using an airbridge contacting scheme. The airbridged contacts were designed to improve packaging yields and device reliability by eliminating the use of a polyimide planarizing layer which provided poor adhesion to the bond pad metallization. Details of the airbridged optocoupler fabrication process are reported. Discrete VCSEL and RCPD devices were characterized at temperatures between -100 degree(s)C to 100 degree(s)C. Devices were packaged in a face-to-face configuration to form a single channel optocoupler and its performance was evaluated under conditions of high-energy proton bombardment.
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Ronald D. Briggs, Marcelino G. Armendariz, Kent M. Geib, Kent D. Choquette, and D. K. Serkland "Fabrication, packaging, and performance of VCSELs and photodetectors for space applications", Proc. SPIE 3627, Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers III, (29 April 1999);

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