Foundry services for photonic devices and gallium nitride (GaN) electronics

Technical service highlights

NRC's Canadian Photonics Fabrication Centre (CPFC) is a one-stop shop for world-class fabrication services and the pre-commercial production of photonic devices and photonic integrated circuits, as well as GaN electronics. CPFC offers a comprehensive suite of fee-based services including design and modelling, epitaxy, fabrication, and test and characterization.

We offer services in two of NRC's areas of expertise:

What we offer

With years of industry-based experience and state of the art facilities, CPFC experts have the ability to deliver foundry solutions for early-stage prototyping and small-to-medium volume production runs of III-V compound semiconductor photonic devices, photonic integrated circuits and gallium nitride (GaN) electronics. CPFC staff have a clear understanding of current technologies and product applications, as well as industry standard, commercial manufacturing processes.


CPFC operates a metal organic chemical vapour deposition (MOCVD) reactor with ample capacity for development and production of gallium arsenide (GaAs) and indium phosphide (InP) -based wafers. CPFC is capable of growing single and multiple GaAs- and InP-based wafers to meet a variety of device needs.

A wide range of active and passive device structures has been grown using the epitaxial and processing facilities within CPFC. Several of these device structures rely on the ability to re-grow epitaxial layers after some device fabrication steps have taken place.

Dielectric Deposition

The CFPC employs both plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) and spin-on dielectric processes to planarize, passivate, and provide inter-metal isolation capabilities. Our PECVD systems use cassette loaded lock systems capable of precision control of all film properties, all with a small edge exclusion to maximize potential yield.

Our spin-on dielectrics include both photo patternable and etch patterned materials that demonstrate low shrinkage and excellent mechanical and electrical stability.

Physical Vapour Deposition (PVD)

The CPFC uses a combination of e-beam evaporation and sputtering to deposit its metallization stack requirements. The use of fast pump download locked systems and long throw evaporators provides CPFC clients with an extensive selection of contact and interconnect metallization options for the device development activities.

In addition the CPFC uses PVD technology to deposit both high-reflection (HR) and anti-reflection (AR) dielectric coatings to enhance the performance of devices fabricated at the facility.


The CPFC has invested in extensive lithography capabilities to allow it to fabricate complex photonic and electronic devices. The facility benefits from a pair of I-line steppers that provide < 400nm resolution and 60nm overlay capabilities. This is complemented by a direct write e-beam system capable of handling both small pieces and whole wafers.

Front to backside alignment lithography is handled by contact alignment while extensive use of our two holographic benches satisfies the need for high volume grating pattern exposure.

Plasma Etching

The CPFC makes extensive use of plasma etching to fabricate complex photonic and electronic devices. Cassette to cassette and batch processing reactive ion etch (RIE) systems provide the capability to etch simple dielectric material patterns while multi-chamber high density plasma etch systems provide excellent etch control and uniformity through the use of both hot and cold etch chemistries.

Back end processing

To complement the wafer fabrication capabilities, the CPFC maintains the capability to thin wafers and provide backside metal contact formation. Additional capabilities allow the CPFC to singulate wafers through scribe and cleave or through the use of a dicing saw. Backend processing of these singulated devices can also include facet polishing and AR or HR coating.

Why work with us

For Advanced Photonic Components (APC)

NRC has the largest concentration of expertise and facilities in photonic devices, photonics materials, and semiconductor device fabrication in Canada. Our researchers are internationally recognized leaders in their fields of expertise, which include silicon photonics, high-performance laser design, and material science.

We've worked with dozens of photonics companies and key industry players. We are the only organization in Canada with a proven ability to support partners in bringing new photonic products from the concept stage, through materials and design development, to early commercialization.

For Gallium Nitride (GaN) Electronics

NRC is the only Canadian foundry for GaN electronics and a global leader in the field. Our GaN-based technology is proven to provide the best results for enhancing the functionality and reliability of normally-on and normally-off devices. We also continue to push the technology envelope, using shorter gate lengths to achieve higher frequency bands for radar and satellite communication.

By working with us and making use of our superior technology and technical support, you gain a distinct competitive advantage in the global communications sector.

For gallium nitride electronics, we also offer design kits which describe the GaN electronics fabrication service, and include a Design Manual and a Physical Design Kit, based on Advanced Design System (ADS) software.



Business contact
George Ross
Telephone: 613-949-3717

Technical contact
Dr. Siegfried Janz
Telephone: 613-990-0926

For GaN

Dr. Jean-Paul Noël
Telephone: 613-990-7415

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