Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Ultra-high on-chip optical gain in ALD erbium-based hybrid slot waveguides

Reliable on-chip optical amplifiers and light sources can enable integration of active functionalities on silicon based platforms.

Previously lasers integrated on silicon has been demonstrated with semiconductors by using methods such as wafer bonding or molecular beam epitaxy (MBE). These methods are however not that cost-effective in high volume manufacturing.

Now rearchers at Aalto University and Université Paris-Sud has now managed to significantly improve within chip data transmission using ALD Er:Al2O3 - a CMOS-compatible and scalable atomic-layer deposition process.

"The unique layer-by-layer nature of atomic-layer deposition enables atomic scale engineering of the gain layer properties and straightforward integration with silicon integrated waveguides. We demonstrate up to 20.1 ± 7.31 dB/cm and at least 52.4 ± 13.8 dB/cm net modal and material gain per unit length, respectively, the highest performance achieved from erbium-based planar waveguides integrated on silicon. Our results show significant advances towards efficient on-chip amplification, opening a route to large-scale integration of various active functionalities on silicon." [Nature Communications 2019, LINK]

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