A simple and versatile technique for manufacturing hybrid lasers on different materials opens the door to new applications for photonic devices.
Fabricating hybrid semiconductor lasers on materials other than the commonly used silicon-on-insulator (SOI) substrates has proved challenging. Now, A*STAR researchers have developed an innovative technique that can integrate the lasers on to a range of different materials.
Schematic of the hybrid laser
© 2017 A*STAR Data Storage Institute
Hybrid lasers combine the light-emitting properties of group III-V semiconductors like gallium arsenide and indium phosphide, with conventional silicon technologies, offering inexpensive photonic and microelectronic devices for application in optical telecommunication systems.
Their range of applications, however, is limited by the poor light-emitting characteristics of the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers mostly used as substrates in the fabrication process. This spurred Doris Keh-Ting Ng and colleagues from the A*STAR Data Storage Institute to develop an innovative technique for bonding III-V lasers on to other substrates, be it silicon, quartz, or metal alloys.
By using an ultrathin layer of silicon oxide to bond the lasers to a silicon substrate, the researchers developed a simpler, safer and more flexible technique than direct bonding, which relies on chemical bonding between the surfaces.
“The challenge is to produce a smooth, extremely thin layer of silicon oxide on the surface of the substrate,” explains Ng. “By growing the film on the silicon substrate, but not on the III-V substrate, we greatly reduced the complexity of the process and improved the strength of the bond between the two materials.”
After first cleaning the surfaces with an organic solvent, the researchers exposed the surface to an oxygen plasma to increase its adhesive properties. They then initiated the bonding process at ambient temperature by bringing the two substrates slowly together, to reduce the air trapped between them, ensuring a much stronger bond.
The bonding was then completed at relatively low temperatures of around 220 degrees Celsius, allowing the ultrathin layer of silicon oxide to conduct heat between the layers, reducing potential damage to the materials, strengthening the bond and avoiding the need for hazardous chemicals, such as Piranha solution and hydrofluoric acid, used in direct bonding.
The work demonstrates a versatile on-chip laser that can be integrated on to any material platform and could lead to new applications for photonic devices, such as detector-on-chip and modulator-on-chip technologies.
“The low temperature interlayer approach is simpler and much safer than direct bonding, and means that laser manufacturers are not restricted by the choice of substrate,” says Ng.
The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Data Storage Institute.
 Lee, C. W., Ng, D. K. T., Ren, M., Fu, Y. H., Kay, A. Y .S. et al. Generic heterogeneously integrated III–V lasers-on-chip with metal-coated etched-mirror. IEEE Journal of Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics 22, 1500409 (2016).
A*STAR Research | asia-Research News
Temperature-controlled fiber-optic light source with liquid core
20.06.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Photonische Technologien e. V.
New material for splitting water
19.06.2018 | American Institute of Physics
In a recent publication in the renowned journal Optica, scientists of Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology (Leibniz IPHT) in Jena showed that they can accurately control the optical properties of liquid-core fiber lasers and therefore their spectral band width by temperature and pressure tuning.
Already last year, the researchers provided experimental proof of a new dynamic of hybrid solitons– temporally and spectrally stationary light waves resulting...
Scientists from the University of Freiburg and the University of Basel identified a master regulator for bone regeneration. Prasad Shastri, Professor of...
Moving into its fourth decade, AchemAsia is setting out for new horizons: The International Expo and Innovation Forum for Sustainable Chemical Production will take place from 21-23 May 2019 in Shanghai, China. With an updated event profile, the eleventh edition focusses on topics that are especially relevant for the Chinese process industry, putting a strong emphasis on sustainability and innovation.
Founded in 1989 as a spin-off of ACHEMA to cater to the needs of China’s then developing industry, AchemAsia has since grown into a platform where the latest...
The BMBF-funded OWICELLS project was successfully completed with a final presentation at the BMW plant in Munich. The presentation demonstrated a Li-Fi communication with a mobile robot, while the robot carried out usual production processes (welding, moving and testing parts) in a 5x5m² production cell. The robust, optical wireless transmission is based on spatial diversity; in other words, data is sent and received simultaneously by several LEDs and several photodiodes. The system can transmit data at more than 100 Mbit/s and five milliseconds latency.
Modern production technologies in the automobile industry must become more flexible in order to fulfil individual customer requirements.
An international team of scientists has discovered a new way to transfer image information through multimodal fibers with almost no distortion - even if the fiber is bent. The results of the study, to which scientist from the Leibniz-Institute of Photonic Technology Jena (Leibniz IPHT) contributed, were published on 6thJune in the highly-cited journal Physical Review Letters.
Endoscopes allow doctors to see into a patient’s body like through a keyhole. Typically, the images are transmitted via a bundle of several hundreds of optical...
13.06.2018 | Event News
08.06.2018 | Event News
05.06.2018 | Event News
21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences
21.06.2018 | Life Sciences
21.06.2018 | Earth Sciences