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III-V on silicon microdisk lasers

Research Area: Heterogeneous integration technology for silicon photonics , Integrated lasers and LEDs , Silicon photonics for telecom, datacom and interconnect

Main Researcher: Pauline Mechet

Microdisk/ring lasers typically have two lasing modes, one lasing in clockwise (CW) and another lasing in counter-clockwise (CCW) direction. In an ideal disk/ring lasers these two modes lase at the same wavelength and laser light from the CW mode does not couple in to CCW mode and vice-versa. These lasers have special LI (light-current) characteristics. Generally there are three different lasing regimes which are known as bi-directional, alternating oscillating and unidirectional (bi-stable) regimes. These operating regimes of disk/ring lasers occur in the increasing order of the injection current. In the unidirectional regime, the output of one of the modes (CW or CCW) is high while that of another is suppressed due to the non-linear cross-gain saturation in the active medium. The output power of the dominant mode can be suppressed while that of the suppressed mode can be enhanced by injecting an external optical pulse in the direction of the suppressed mode. This way, depending on the direction of injection of the external optical pulse, the random switching between CW and CCW modes is possible and microdisk laser behaves as an all-optical set-reset flip-flop(SR-FF).
We have realized an SR-FF working at the telecom wavelength (1.55µm) with an ultra-small (7.5µm diameter) III-V microdisk laser heterogeneously integrated onto SOI chip and working in a continuous-wave regime with an electrical power consumption of few milliwatts. Switching between CW and CCW modes is demonstrated with an external optical pulse of record low energy of only 1.8fJ and the switching time obtained is 60ps [12].


We also demonstrated low power all-optical gating in a microdisk of 10µm diameter at a speed of 10GHz with the probe and pump power of 170µW and 4mW, respectively, inside the SOI waveguide. Measured transient responses (rise and fall time) show that the 20GHz speed is well within the reach [7].

As the demand for bandwidth increases, optical interconnects are coming closer and closer to the chip. Optical interconnects on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) are desirable as this allows for integration with CMOS and the mature processing can be used for photonic integrated circuits. A heterogeneous integration process can be used to include III-V active optical components on SOI. For dense integration compact sources and detectors are required, but they typically need different epitaxial structures to be efficient which limits the integration density. We demonstrated the very compact integration of sources and detectors thanks to the use of an epitaxial structure which contains both the layers for a laser and for a detector. Microdisk lasers and waveguide detectors were completely fabricated in a 200mm CMOS pilot line [6].
We report a compact optical interconnect on a silicon-on-insulator platform consisting of a directly modulated microdisk laser and detector connected via a silicon waveguide. All fabrication steps for the laser and detector, except for the detector mesa, are carried out simultaneously in the clean-room of the Photonics Research Group. The microdisk laser has a threshold current of 0.45mA and a slope efficiency of 57μW/mA. The responsivity of the detectors is 0.69A/W. The full optical link has a static efficiency of 3% and a bandwidth of 7.6GHz. A large signal modulation is applied and a 10Gb/s bit pattern could be resolved [5].



We demonstrate unidirectional bistability in microdisk lasers electrically pumped and heterogeneously integrated on SOI [4]. The lasers operate in continuous wave regime at room temperature and are single mode. Integrating a passive distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) on the waveguide to which the microdisk is coupled feeds laser emission back into the laser cavity. This introduces an extra unidirectional gain and results in unidirectional emission of the laser, as demonstrated in simulations as well as in experiment. We theoretically and numerically analyze the unidirectional behavior of ring or disk lasers coupled to bus waveguide with a relatively strong reflector on one side, and find analytical expressions for the ratio of the powers in clockwise and counter clockwise modes. At low bias levels this ratio depends on the coupling coefficients that determine the coupling between clockwise and counterclockwise modes, while at high bias levels it also depends strongly on the gain suppression. We also theoretically and numerically invest the feedback sensitivity of such lasers and come to the conclusion that ring or disk lasers are generally much more sensitive to external reflections than traditional Fabry-Perot, DFB or DBR lasers [2]. At high bias levels, also the feedback sensitivity strongly depends on the gain suppression and at high enough power levels it can be better than that of traditional edge-emitting lasers.
We demonstrate an all-optical low-power 2R regenerator of 10Gb/s NRZ data based on a 10μm diameter electrically pumped microdisk laser, heterogeneously integrated onto Silicon-On-Insulator and processed in a CMOS pilot-line. The scheme results in BER improvement and works for sub-milliWatt level input signals. The laser operates in continuous wave regime, is single mode at room temperature and consumes 6mW of electrical power. Its regeneration capability is investigated in simulations and experimentally demonstrated [1].


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Patents

Publications

    International Journals

  1. P. Mechet, T. Spuesens, S. Werquin, K.T Vandoorne, N. Olivier, J.M. Fedeli, P. Regreny, D. Van Thourhout, G. Roelkens, G. Morthier, All-optical low-power 2R regeneration of 10Gb/s NRZ signals using a III-V on SOI microdisk laser, IEEE Photonics Journal, 5(6), p.7802510 (2013)  Download this Publication (877KB).
  2. G. Morthier, P. Mechet, Theoretical analysis of unidirectional operation and reflection sensitivity of semiconductor ring or disk lasers , IEEE Journ. Quant. El., 49(12), p.1097-1101 (2013)  Download this Publication (373KB).
  3. T. Van Vaerenbergh, K. Alexander, J. Dambre, P. Bienstman, Excitation transfer between optically injected microdisk lasers, Optics Express, 21(23), p.28922-28932  (2013)  Download this Publication (1.3MB).
  4. P. Mechet, S. Verstuyft, T. De Vries, T. Spuesens, P. Regreny, D. Van Thourhout, G. Roelkens, G. Morthier, Unidirectional III-V microdisk lasers heterogeneously integrated on SOI, Optics Express, 21(16), p.19339-19352 (2013)  Download this Publication (2.2MB).
  5. T. Spuesens, J. Bauwelinck, P. Regreny, D. Van Thourhout, Realization of a compact optical interconnect on Silicon by heterogeneous integration of III-V, Photonics Technology Letters, 25(14), p.1332-1335 (2013)  Download this Publication (718KB).
  6. T. Spuesens, F. Mandorlo, P. Rojo-Romeo, P. Regreny, N. Olivier, J.M. Fedeli, D. Van Thourhout, Compact integration of optical sources and detectors on SOI for optical interconnects fabricated in a 200 mm CMOS pilot line, Journal of Lightwave Technology, 30(11), p.1764-1770 (2012)  Download this Publication (1.3MB).
  7. R. Kumar, T. Spuesens, P. Mechet, N. Olivier, J.- M. Fedeli, P. Regreny, G. Roelkens, D. Van Thourhout, G. Morthier, 10Gbit/s all-optical NRZ-OOK to RZ-OOK format conversion in an ultra-small III-V-on-silicon microdisk fabricated in a CMOS pilot line , Optics Express, 19(24), p.24647-24656 (2011)  Download this Publication (1.6MB).
  8. Jens Hofrichter, Oded Raz, Liu Liu, Geert Morthier, F. Horst, P. Regreny, T. de Vries, H. Dorren, B. Offrein, All-Optical Wavelength Conversion Using Mode Switching in an InP Microdisc Laser, Electronics Letters, 47, United Kingdom, p.927-929 (2011).
  9. R. Kumar, T. Spuesens, P. Mechet, P. Kumar, O.Raz, N. Olivier, J.- M. Fedeli, G. Roelkens, R. Baets, D. Van Thourhout, G. Morthier, Ultra-fast and Bias-free All-Optical Wavelength Conversion Using III-V on Silicon Technology, Optics Letters, 36(13), p.2450-2452 (2011)  Download this Publication (570KB).
  10. H. D. Jung, R. Kumar, P. Regreny, H. J. S. Dorren, T. Koonen, O. Raz, Analog Modulation Characteristics of InP Membrane Microdisc Laser for In-building Networks, Electronics Letters, 47(2), p.121-123 (2011)  Download this Publication (417KB).
  11. R. Kumar, L. Liu, G. Roelkens, E.-J.Geluk, T. de Vries, F. Karouta, P. Regreny, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets, G. Morthier, 10GHz All-Optical Gate Based on a III-V/SOI Microdisk , Photonics Technology Letters, 22(13), p.981-983 (2010)  Download this Publication (256KB).
  12. L. Liu, R. Kumar, K. Huybrechts, T. Spuesens, G. Roelkens, E.-J. Geluk, T. de Vries, P. Regreny, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets, G. Morthier, An ultra-small, low-power, all-optical flip-flop memory on a silicon chip, Nature Photonics, 4(3), p.182-187 (2010).
      International Conferences

    1. Z. Wang, Marianna Pantouvaki, G. Morthier, Clement Merckling, Joris Van Campenhout, D. Van Thourhout, G. Roelkens, Heterogeneous Integration of InP Devices on Silicon, the 28th International Conference on Indium Phosphide and Related Materials (IPRM) (invited), Japan, p.paper ThD1-1 (2016)  Download this Publication (379KB).
    2. G. Morthier, P. Mechet, Theoretical and experimental analysis of unidirectionality of asymmetrically-coupled semiconductor ring or disk lasers, Conference on Physics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices XXII, United States, p.8980-30 (2014)  Download this Publication (313KB).
    3. P. Mechet, F. Raineri, A. Bazin, T. Spuesens, P. Regreny, P. Monnier, D. Van Thourhout, I. Sagnes, R. Raj, G. Roelkens, G. Morthier, Extremely uniform lasing wavelengths of InP microdisk lasers heterogeneously integrated on SOI, IEEE Photonics Conference 2013 (IPC), United States, p.ME3.2 (2013)  Download this Publication (320KB).
    4. G. Morthier, P. Mechet, T. Spuesens, G. Roelkens, D. Van Thourhout, Heterogeneously integrated InP microdisk lasers, the 7th International Conference on Nanophotonics (ICNP) The 3rd Conference on Advances in Optoelectronics and Micro/Nano Optics (AOM)2013 (invited), China, p.111 (2013)  Download this Publication (307KB).
    5. T. Spuesens, P. Regreny, D. Van Thourhout, Improved fabrication process for III-V based Optical Interconnects on Silicon, Group IV Photonics 2013, p.154-155 (2013)  Download this Publication (413KB).
    6. J. Hofrichter, A. La Porta, T. Morf, B.J. Offrein, P. Mechet, G. Morthier, T. De Vries, H.J.S. Dorren, O. Raz, Compact High–Speed InP Microdisk Modulators Heterogeneously Integrated on a SOI Waveguide, IEEE Optical Interconnects, United States, p.MB6 (2012).
    7. R. Kumar, T. Spuesens, P. Mechet, N. Olivier, J.- M. Fedeli, P. Regreny, G. Roelkens, D. Van Thourhout, G. Morthier, 10Gbit/s Bias-free and Error-free All-optical NRZ-OOK to RZ-OOK Format Conversion Using a III-V-on-silicon Microdisk Resonator , The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) and The National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC) 2012, United States, p. JW2A.77 (2012)  Download this Publication (376KB).
    8. R. Kumar, T. Spuesens, P. Mechet, J.– M. Fedeli, N. Olivier, P. Regreny, G. Roelkens, D. Van Thourhout, G. Morthier, All-optical de-multiplexing of 10Gbps data using III-V/SOI microdisk resonators, Annual Symposium of the IEEE Photononics Benelux Chapter, Belgium, (2011)  Download this Publication (336KB).
    9. R. Kumar, T. Spuesens, P. Mechet, J.– M. Fedeli, N. Olivier, P. Regreny, G. Roelkens, D. Van Thourhout, G. Morthier, Proof-of-concept Demonstration of an All-Optical De-multiplexer Using III-V/SOI Microdisk Resonator Fabricated in a CMOS Pilot Line, IPC2011, p.127-128 (2011)  Download this Publication (234KB).
    10. R. Kumar, T. Spuesens, P. Mechet, P. Regreny, J.- M. Fedeli, N. Olivier, G. Roelkens, D. Van Thourhout, G. Morthier, All-optical de-multiplexing using III-V/SOI microdisk resonators, European Semiconductor Laser Workshop (ESLW), Switzerland, (2011)  Download this Publication (217KB).
    11. R. Kumar, T. Spuesens, P. Mechet, P. Regreny, N. Olivier, J.-M. Fedeli, G. Roelkens, D. Van Thourhout, G. Morthier, 10Gbps bias-free all-optical wavelength conversion using InP-microdisk resonators heterogeneously integrated onto SOI , ECOC, Switzerland, p.paper We.9.LeSaleve.3 (2011)  Download this Publication (475KB).
    12. T. Spuesens, D. Van Thourhout, P. Rojo Romeo, P. Regreny, J.M. Fedeli, CW operation of III-V microdisk lasers on SOI fabricated in a 200 mm CMOS pilot line, Group IV Photonics 2011, p.199-201 (2011)  Download this Publication (458KB).
    13. O. Raz, H.J.S.Dorren, R. Kumar, G. Morthier, P. Regreny, P. Rojo-Romeo, 50 fJ-per-bit, High Speed, Directly Modulated Light Sources for On-chip Optical Data Communications, The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) and The National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC), United States, (2011)  Download this Publication (965KB).
    14. O. Raz, H. D. Jung, R. Kumar, P. Regreny, T. Koonen, H. J. S. Dorren, Integrated InP membrane light sources for analog CMOS photonic transmitters, Annual Symposium of the IEEE Photononics Benelux Chapter, Netherlands, p.177-180 (2010)  Download this Publication (241KB).
    15. R. Kumar, P. Kumar, G. Roelkens, L. Liu, P. Regreny, T. de Vries, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets, G. Morthier, Performance Analysis of III-V/SOI Microdisk Based All-Optical Gate for On-chip Interconnects, Annual Symposium of the IEEE Photononics Benelux Chapter, Netherlands, p.129-131 (2010)  Download this Publication (186KB).
    16. T. Spuesens, D. Van Thourhout, Analysis of loss contributions in InP-based microdisk lasers heterogeneously integrated with SOI, Annual Symposium of the IEEE Photononics Benelux Chapter, Netherlands, p.209-212 (2010)  Download this Publication (229KB).
    17. K. Huybrechts, L. Liu, R. Kumar, T. Spuesens, G. Roelkens, E.J. Geluk, T. De Vries, P. Regreny, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets, G. Morthier, All-Optical Flip-Flops using Electrically Pumped Microdisk Lasers Integrated on Silicon , IEEE Photonics Society Annual Meeting (invited), United States, (2010)  Download this Publication (377KB).
    18. O. Raz, L. Liu, R. Kumar, G. Morthier, P. Regreny, H. J. S. Dorren, A Single InP Membrane Disc Cavity for Both Transmission and Detection of 10Gb/s Signals in On Chip Interconnects, ECOC , (2010)  Download this Publication (1.6MB).
    19. J. Hofrichter, O. Raz, F. Horst, N. Chrysos, C. Minkenberg, T. de Vries, H. J. S. Dorren, R. Kumar, L. Liu, B.-J. Offrein, A Fast And Comprehensive Microdisc Laser Model Applied To All-optical Wavelength Conversion, Integrated Photonics Research, Silicon and Nano Photonics (IPR), Photonics in Switching (PS), United States, p.PTuA2.pfd (2010)  Download this Publication (284KB).
    20. J. Hofrichter, F. Horst, N. Chrysos, C. Minkenberg, R. Kumar, L. Liu, G. Morthier, T. de Vries, B.J. Offrein, Digital all-optical signal processing using microdisk lasers, Integrated Photonics Research, Silicon and Nano Photonics (IPR), Photonics in Switching (PS), United States, p.PTuA3.pdf (3 pages) (2010)  Download this Publication (204KB).
    21. K. Huybrechts, L. Liu, R. Kumar, T. Spuesens, G. Roelkens, E.-J. Geluk, T. de Vries, M. Smit, P. Regreny, P. Rojo-Romeo, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets, G. Morthier, Digital photonics using InP microdisk lasers heterogeneously integrated on Silicon-on-Insulator, European Conference on Integrated Optics (ECIO) (invited), United Kingdom, p.WeF1 (2010)  Download this Publication (60KB).
    22. R. Kumar, K. Huybrechts, L. Liu, T. Spuesens, G. Roelkens, E.-J. Geluk, T. de Vries, P. Regreny, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets, G. Morthier, An ultra-small, low-power all-optical flip-flop memory on a silicon chip, The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) and The National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC) 2010, United States, p.OTuN7 (2010)  Download this Publication (394KB).
    23. R. Kumar, L. Liu, G. Roelkens, E.-J. Geluk , T. de Vries, P. Regreny, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets, G. Morthier, 10GHz all-optical gate on a silicon chip, The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) and The National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC) 2010, United States, p.JWA44 (2010)  Download this Publication (287KB).
    24. O. Raz, L. Liu, R. Kumar, G. Morthier, D. Van Thourhout, P. Regreny, P. Rojo-Romeo, T. de Vries, H.J.S. Dorren, Compact, low power and low threshold electrically pumped micro disc lasers for 20Gb/s non return to zero all optical wavelength conversion, The Optical Fiber Communication Conference and Exposition (OFC) and The National Fiber Optic Engineers Conference (NFOEC) 2010, United States, p.OMQ5 (2010)  Download this Publication (1.5MB).
    25. R. Kumar, L. Liu, G. Roelkens, G. Morthier, R. Baets, Simple and accurate measurements to characterize microdisk lasers for all-optical flip-flop operation, Proceedings of the 2009 Annual Symposium of the IEEE Photononics Benelux Chapter, Belgium, p.81-84 (2009)  Download this Publication (324KB).
    26. Y. De Koninck, K. Huybrechts, G. Van der Sande, J. Danckaert, R. Baets, G. Morthier, Nonlinear dynamics of asymmetrically coupled microdisk lasers, 22nd Annual Meeting of the IEEE Photonics Society, Turkey, p.WN4 (2009)  Download this Publication (650KB).
    27. D. Van Thourhout, G. Roelkens, Heterogeneously Integrated SOI Compound Semiconductor Photonics, 35th European Conference on Optical Communications (ECOC 2009) (invited), Austria, p.4.2.1 (2009)  Download this Publication (827KB).
        National Conferences

      1. R. Kumar, G. Morthier, Photonic Integrated Circuits Using III-V/SOI Microresonators, UGent-FirW PhD Symposium , (2010)  Download this Publication (153KB).

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