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1300nm GaAs on Si lasers for optical interconnect applications

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

Main Researcher: Sarah Uvin

We aspire to develop a light source suitable for optical interconnects based on GaAs quantum dot epitaxy integrated on a full silicon photonics platform.

Bandwidth hungry applications such as real-time video processing, cloud computing and social networks have created the need for more powerful data centers that can sustain much higher bandwidths than a few years ago. This trend requires high-performance interconnects that can sustain high bandwidth without consuming excessive energy. Given the large temperature swings in server racks, it is particularly important to develop energy efficient solutions that operate over a very broad temperature range.

To meet these requirements, a GaAs-based quantum dot (QD) laser for operation at 1.3 um integrated on the silicon platform is proposed.

Quantum dots (tiny clusters of semiconductor material with dimensions of only a few nanometers) are sometimes referred to as "artificial atoms" because the charge carriers occupy only a restricted set of energy levels rather like electrons in an atom. Because of this quantum dot lasers can show:
Very low threshold current densities.
Very high temperature stability of the lasing parameters.
Chirp free operation.

Because of the way QDs are grown, there is a Gaussian distribution of dot sizes with a corresponding Gaussian distribution of emission frequencies, called inhomogeneous broadening. This leads to a wider gain spectrum compared to conventional quantum well lasers making this material system an excellent candidate for creating multi-wavelength transmitters.

Recently, a lot of effort has gone into the creation of bulk GaAs quantum dot lasers. However, the integration of these devices on silicon transceiver ICs has yet to be demonstrated. This has to be realized using a scalable approach that accommodates the ever increasing required aggregate bandwidths which are projected to go beyond 1 Terabit/s. To this end, different laser types will be considered in the course of this research.

Other people involved:

Related Research Projects


        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).

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