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UCSB Researchers Develop Hybrid Silicon Evanescent Laser

Date:
November 15, 2005
Source:
University of California - Santa Barbara
Summary:
In what promises to be an important advance, researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have developed a novel laser by bonding optical gain layers directly to a silicon laser cavity. This hybrid laser offers an alternative to silicon Raman lasers and is an order of magnitude shorter. The laser is optically pumped, operates in continuous wave mode, and only needs 30 mW of input pump power.

In what promises to be an important advance, researchers at the University of California, Santa Barbara have developed a novel laser by bonding optical gain layers directly to a silicon laser cavity. This hybrid laser offers an alternative to silicon Raman lasers and is an order of magnitude shorter. The laser is optically pumped, operates in continuous wave mode, and only needs 30 mW of input pump power.

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This evanescent silicon laser demonstration is the first step toward an electrically pumped hybrid silicon laser. Increasingly, the performance of microelectronic systems will depend more on the connections between chips and devices than on the characteristics of the chips and devices themselves. As semiconductor systems get smaller, interconnect capacity and power dissipation will limit their performance. Optical interconnects could alleviate these limitations but the challenge has been to create a semiconductor laser that can be fully integrated with silicon microelectronics.

The laser developed by John Bowers and his students, Alex Fang and Hyundai Park, uses InAlGaAs quantum wells to provide optical amplification. "The ability to combine the best of both worlds (i.e. III-V gain material with silicon photonics) could lead to a new way of enabling highly integrated laser sources with intelligent opto-electronic devices for future optical communications at low cost," said John Bowers, professor of electrical and computer engineering at UCSB .

###

The research was published in Optics Express. The work was funded by DARPA and Intel Corporation.


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The above story is based on materials provided by University of California - Santa Barbara. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of California - Santa Barbara. "UCSB Researchers Develop Hybrid Silicon Evanescent Laser." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 November 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051115173030.htm>.
University of California - Santa Barbara. (2005, November 15). UCSB Researchers Develop Hybrid Silicon Evanescent Laser. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 30, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051115173030.htm
University of California - Santa Barbara. "UCSB Researchers Develop Hybrid Silicon Evanescent Laser." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/11/051115173030.htm (accessed October 30, 2014).

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