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Electrically-pumped QD micro-ring lasers directly grown on silicon

Electrically-pumped QD micro-ring lasers directly grown on silicon

By BizLED Bureau

Sep 21, 2017: The Optoelectronics Research Group of the University of California, an international team of researchers, led by professor John E. Bowers, has designed electrically-pumped quantum dot micro-ring lasers directly grown on silicon. The researchers claimed the sub-milliamp lasing threshold (0.6mA), and the device footprint are smaller than those of previously reported lasers epitaxially grown on silicon.

As need for miniaturization and large-scale integration of photonic components on the silicon platform is rising, and being used for data communication and other emerging applications, the researchers from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, along with University of California, Santa Barbara, have demonstrated record-small electrically pumped micro-lasers epitaxially grown on industry standard (001) silicon substrates.

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A submilliamp threshold of 0.6 mA, emitting at the near-infrared (1.3?m) was achieved for a micro-laser with a radius of 5 μm. The thresholds and footprints are orders of magnitude smaller than those previously reported lasers epitaxially grown on Si. Their findings were published in the journal Optica.

“We demonstrated the smallest current injection QD lasers directly grown on industry-standard (001) silicon with low power consumption and high temperature stability,” said Kei May Lau, Fang Professor of Engineering and Chair Professor of the Department of Electronic & Computer Engineering at HKUST.

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“The realization of high-performance micron-sized lasers directly grown on Si represents a major step toward utilization of direct III-V/Si epitaxy as an alternate option to wafer-bonding techniques as on-chip silicon light sources with dense integration and low power consumption.”

Currently, direct heteroepitaxial growth of III–V laser structures on Si using quantum dots as the active region is a vibrant field of research, with the potential to demonstrate low-cost, high-yield, long-lifetime, and high-temperature devices. Ongoing work is being conducted to reduce the power consumption, maximize the operating temperature, and switch from miscut Si substrates toward the so-called exact (001) Si substrates that are standard in microelectronics fabrication. Here, we demonstrate record-small electrically pumped micro-lasers epitaxially grown on industry standard (001) silicon substrates. Continuous-wave lasing up to 100°C was demonstrated at 1.3 μm communication wavelength. A submilliamp threshold of 0.6 mA was achieved for a micro-laser with a radius of 5 μm. The thresholds and footprints are orders of magnitude smaller than those previously reported lasers epitaxially grown on Si.

Currently, direct heteroepitaxial growth of III–V laser structures on Si using quantum dots as the active region is a vibrant field of research, with the potential to demonstrate low-cost, high-yield, long-lifetime, and high-temperature devices. Ongoing work is being conducted to reduce the power consumption, maximize the operating temperature, and switch from miscut Si substrates toward the so-called exact (001) Si substrates that are standard in microelectronics fabrication.

“Electrical injection of micro-lasers is a much more challenging and daunting task: first, electrode metallization is limited by the micro size cavity, which may increase the device resistance and thermal impedance; second, the whispering gallery mode (WGM) is sensitive to any process imperfection, which may increase the optical loss,” said Yating Wan, a HKUST PhD graduate and now postdoctoral fellow at the Optoelectronics Research Group of UCSB.

“As a promising integration platform, silicon photonics need on-chip laser sources that dramatically improve capability, while trimming size and power dissipation in a cost-effective way for volume manufacturability. The realization of high-performance micron-sized lasers directly grown on Si represents a major step toward utilization of direct III-V/Si epitaxy as an alternate option to wafer-bonding techniques,” said John Bowers, Deputy Chief Executive Officer of AIM Photonics.

Source: Optica

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