Prof. Choquette receives SPIE award for VCSEL research
Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering Kent D Choquette has won the 2016 SPIE Technology Achievement Award for his research in the development of high-performance vertical-cavity, surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). He contributed to the invention of the oxide-confined VCSEL, useful for data-communication optical links for data centers, the Internet, and supercomputer applications. This innovation uses an oxide aperture within a semiconductor mirror formed by leveraging the selectivity of AlGaAs alloys to oxidation in a manner that enables exceptional laser reliability.
Choquette’s discoveries have been adopted by researchers around the world for several applications, including in the industrial production industry. His research advanced VCSEL performance to include low operating current, high digital-modulation speed, high power conversion efficiency, and controlled polarization.
Fiber-optic communication systems have been deployed for inexpensive and high-volume exchange of information including Internet traffic, financial records, cloud computing, and medical imaging as a direct result of Choquette’s discoveries. For the past 20 years, he participated or co-chaired for the technical program committee of the VCSEL conference at SPIE Photonics West. In addition, he has served on the technical committees of 25 SPIE conferences worldwide and is the current president of the IEEE Photonics Society.