25 August 2020
Adam McKenzie, a University of Glasgow PhD research student employed by CST Global, has won an IET Postgraduate prize for his Photonic Crystal Surface Emitting Lasers (PCSELs) project. PCSELs are critical to the development of quantum dot (QD) lasers. They achieve vertical, narrow line-width, single-mode emission; they can be tuned; and they are stable at room temperature. This has singled them out as the laser of choice for multi-gigabit transmission applications, such as in data-centres, without the need for cooling.
Adam’s project was supervised by Professor Richard Hogg of the University of Glasgow, in collaboration with Dr. Kouichi Akahane of the National Institute of Information and Communications Technology (NIICT) in Tokyo, Japan. The PCSELs were produced on the University of Glasgow’s MOCVD reactor, which is housed and managed in the clean-room at CST Global for industry-based, PhD research projects such as this.
Adam explains, “PCSELs rely on the formation of nanometer-scale air-voids within the device during the epitaxial regrowth process. The size and shape of these voids is used to tune the device characteristics, so our focus was on how they form at an atomic level. This is Dr. Akahane area of expertise, which we drew on in this collaboration. It has helped CST Global successfully develop tunable PCSELs and also strengthened the company’s in-house epitaxial regrowth capabilities still further.”
Andrew McKee, CTO at CST Global, added, “Adam is a talented engineer with an additional flair for writing successful grant and award applications! Not only has Adam won one of only four IET Postgraduate prizes this year, awarded to PhD programmes globally, but he also received an award from the Henry Royce Institute last year in support of a material characterization, Atom Probe Tomography project; this time a collaboration with Oxford University. On top of that, Adam holds an Industrial Fellowship from the ‘Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851’, which contributes to his university fees and expenses.”
Information on the IET Postgraduate Research Awards, including details of the 2021 application process, can be found at: