A new compact structure enables efficient lasers to be realized on silicon chips
A compact ‘on-silicon-chip’ laser has been developed by researchers at Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore that boasts both excellent confinement of light for lasing and the ability to efficiently share the laser light with nearby components.
Compact lasers small enough to be integrated on chips are in great demand for a diverse range of applications, including data communication and storage. Lasers made from a combination of silicon and semiconductors containing elements from the third and fifth columns in the periodic table (dubbed III–V silicon lasers) are particularly attractive as on-chip light sources.
To be used in applications, such lasers must tightly confine light to maximize the lasing efficiency and should effectively share, or ‘couple’, light with optical waveguides — the optical equivalent of electrical wiring — located under the laser.
Jing Pu and co-workers at the A*STAR Data Storage Institute have demonstrated a III–V silicon laser that meets both criteria. Their structure realizes efficient lasing through the smart control of light — light is tightly confined to the III–V semiconductor layer in which lasing occurs. Furthermore, both laser ends are tapered to facilitate the coupling of light with underlying silicon waveguides.
“Our laser exhibits a high efficiency as well as efficient light coupling between the III–V semiconductor and silicon layers, which is the thinnest reported to date,” says Pu.
The new structure is promising as an on-chip light source for current silicon photonics technology but also as a potential new integration platform. It improves on conventional fabrication procedures, in which components are made separately and then combined, and enables fully integrated optoelectronic systems to be fabricated that take up less space on a chip.
“This new technology could replace the current approach of integrating a laser diode to an optical system through assembling and then bonding of components,” explains Pu. “The laser diodes can be fabricated exactly where they are needed, which will cut the manufacturing cost and reduce the size and weight of light sources by a factor of hundreds.”
These advantages are very attractive for many applications, including next-generation high-density magnetic data storage, where laser diodes need to be integrated on writing heads that are smaller than 0.1 square millimeters.
The team plans to improve the manufacturing process and device performance so that the technology can advance from prototype to manufacture for industrial applications. “We also aim to reduce the laser size and power consumption for use as vital components for high-performance computing,” Pu adds.
The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Data Storage Institute. More information about the group’s research can be found at the Nanotechnology Integration Group webpage.
Pu, J., Lim, K. P., Ng, D. K. T., Krishnamurthy, V., Lee, C. W., Tang, K. et al. Heterogeneously integrated III-V laser on thin SOI with compact optical vertical interconnect access. Optics Letters 40, 1378–1381 (2015).
Original article from A*STAR Research
A*STAR Research | ResearchSea
NASA CubeSat to test miniaturized weather satellite technology
10.11.2017 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center
New approach uses light instead of robots to assemble electronic components
08.11.2017 | The Optical Society
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine
17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses