EXPERIENCE - Avalon Photonics

2002 - 2004

Development application engineer

2002 – 2004 (3 yrs)    |   Zürich, Switzerland

About Avalon Photonics:

Founded in 2000 as a spin-off from CSEM-Zürich with venture funding from Intel and others VC’s, the company developed and produced high performance VCSELs (Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers) for datacom and various sensing applications. The company was sold to Bookham (which then became part of Oclaro Inc.) in 2006. Its VCSELs activities have been sold in 2013 to II-VI Laser Enterprise.

My responsabilities:

  • Project manager for the development of different types of vertical cavity surface emitting laser diodes: 1) 850nm VCSELs chips and arrays for sensing applications (positioning devices, optical mice, gas sensing, matrices of lasers for optical computing etc…), 2) 850 nm VCSELs chips for 10 Gbps datacom applications
  • Responsible for the design of the vertical and horizontal laser structure, the electrical, thermal and optical simulations, the production of the process masks, the definition and monitoring of the entire production process (III-V semiconductor technology), and the final product qualification (Telcordia)

Main achievements:

  • Invented a new design (patented) that allowed mass production of reliable devices with improved performances compared to competitors.
  • Lead prototype development, fabrication and industrial qualification of these devices (See product datasheets here for 850nm single-mode VCSELs)
  • Worked in close collaboration with Sales & Marketing to introduce this new product on new markets: the development of the 850nm VCSELs for sensing applications enabled the successful product introduction of Avalon’s VCSELs into the growing field of laser based computer mice.
  • Collaboration with ETHZ and ISE (Integrated Systems Engineering, which then became Synopsys Switzerland LLC) to optimize VCSEL design using TCAD (Technology Computer-Aided Design) numerical simulation tool (link to a paper describing the work here)

Publications and patents:

  • Streiff, A. Witzig, M. Pfeiffer, P. Royo and W. Fichtner, “A comprehensive VCSEL device simulator”, IEEE- Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, Vol. 9, No. 3, (2003), pp. 879-891
  • Vez, S. G. Hunziker, R. Kohler, P. Royo, M. Moser, W. Baechtold, “850 nm vertical-cavity laser pigtailed to standard singlemode fibre for radio over fibre transmission”, Electronics Letters, Vol. 40, No. 19, (2004), pp. 1210-1211
  • Witzigmann, M. Aschwanden, V. Laino, M. Luisier, S. Odermatt, M. Streiff, A. Witzig, P. Royo, D. Vez “Comprehensive Simulation of Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers: Inclusion of a Many-Body Gain Model”, Journal of Computational Electronics, 4: 7–10, (2005)
  • Royo, “A vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser having improved transverse mode control and a method of forming the same”, European Patent EP28027-04553/WE
  • Royo, “Optimizing the increased oxide aperture relative to the laser dimensions”, US patent 10/563,176, United States Patent Application 20070091959
  • P. Gauggel, P. Royo, “A high power top emitting vertical cavity surface emitting laser”, European Patent EP28498-04553/WE
  • P. Gauggel, P. Royo, “High power top emitting vertical cavity surface emitting laser”, US patent 10/569,059, United States Patent Application 20070091960


  • Royo, “State of the art and recent developments of VCSELs”, School on novel laser sources and photonic devices, Centro per la cultura scientifica, Universita di Napoli “Federico II”, Villa Orlandi, Capri, Italy, September 30 – October 8, (2002)
  • Gulden, Y. Gao, P. Royo, M. Brunner “Commercialization of VCSELs and VCSEL arrays”, Asia-Pacific Optical and Wireless Communications, Wuhan, China, paper #5280-92, 2-6 November (2003)
  • Royo, H. P. Gauggel, M. Moser, K. H. Gulden “High Output Power (> 1mW) Single Transverse Mode Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers with Large Oxide Aperture for 850 nm Applications”, submitted to 19th IEEE International Semiconductor Laser Conference ISLC’04, (2004)
  • Bernd Witzigmann, Matthias Streiff, Stefan Odermatt, Mathieu Luisier, Valerio Laino, Andreas Witzig, Dominique Vez, Paul Royo “Comprehensive Simulation of Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers: Inclusion of a Many-Body Gain Model”, 10th International Workshop on Computational Electronics, Purdue University, West Lafayette, Indiana, USA, October 24 – 27 (2004)


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