Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

World's First Hybrid Silicon Laser: Chip That Emits And Guides Light Could Drive Silicon Photonics

Date:
September 18, 2006
Source:
University Of California, Santa Barbara
Summary:
Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Intel Corporation have built the world's first electrically powered Hybrid Silicon Laser using standard silicon manufacturing processes. This breakthrough addresses one of the last major barriers to producing low-cost, high-bandwidth silicon photonics devices for use inside and around future computers and data centers.

Hybrid silicon laser die containing hundreds of hybrid silicon lasers.
Credit: Image courtesy of University Of California, Santa Barbara College of Engineering

Researchers from the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) and Intel Corporation have built the world's first electrically powered Hybrid Silicon Laser using standard silicon manufacturing processes. This breakthrough addresses one of the last major barriers to producing low-cost, high-bandwidth silicon photonics devices for use inside and around future computers and data centers.

The researchers were able to combine the light-emitting properties of Indium Phosphide with the light-routing capabilities of silicon into a single hybrid chip. When voltage is applied, light generated in the Indium Phosphide enters the silicon waveguide to create a continuous laser beam that can be used to drive other silicon photonic devices. A laser based on silicon could drive wider use of photonics in computers because the cost can be greatly reduced by using high-volume silicon manufacturing techniques.

"This could bring low-cost, terabit-level optical 'data pipes' inside future computers and help make possible a new era of high-performance computing applications," said Mario Paniccia, director of Intel's Photonics Technology Lab. "While still far from becoming a commercial product, we believe dozens, maybe even hundreds of hybrid silicon lasers could be integrated with other silicon photonic components onto a single silicon chip."

"Our research program with Intel highlights how industry and academia can work together to advance the state of science and technology," said John Bowers, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at UC Santa Barbara. "By combining UCSB's expertise with Indium Phosphide and Intel's silicon photonics expertise, we have demonstrated a novel laser structure based on a bonding method that can be used at the wafer-, partial-wafer or die-level, and could be a solution for large-scale optical integration onto a silicon platform. This marks the beginning of highly integrated silicon photonic chips that can be mass produced at low cost." Technical Details

While widely used to mass produce affordable digital electronics today, silicon can also be used to route, detect, modulate and even amplify light, but not to effectively generate light. In contrast, Indium Phosphide-based lasers are commonly used today in telecommunications equipment. But the need to individually assemble and align them has made them too expensive to build in the high volumes and at the low costs needed by the PC industry.

The hybrid silicon laser involves a novel design employing Indium Phosphide-based material for light generation and amplification while using the silicon waveguide to contain and control the laser. The key to manufacturing the device is the use of a low-temperature, oxygen plasma -- an electrically charged oxygen gas -- to create a thin oxide layer (roughly 25 atoms thick) on the surfaces of both materials.

When heated and pressed together the oxide layer functions as a "glass-glue" fusing the two materials into a single chip. When voltage is applied, light generated in the Indium Phosphide-based material passes through the oxide "glass-glue" layer and into the silicon chip's waveguide, where it is contained and controlled, creating a hybrid silicon laser. The design of the waveguide is critical to determining the performance and specific wavelength of the hybrid silicon laser. More information on the Hybrid Silicon Laser can be found at http://www.intel.com/research/platform/sp/hybridlaser.htm and http://www.ece.ucsb.edu/uoeg/.

Bowers has worked with Indium Phosphide-based materials and lasers for more than 25 years. Currently his research is focused on developing novel optoelectronic devices with data rates as high as 160Gb/s and techniques to bond dissimilar materials together to create new devices with improved performance.

The UCSB work was funded by the Microelectronics Technology Office of DARPA and Intel Corporation.


Story Source:

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. "World's First Hybrid Silicon Laser: Chip That Emits And Guides Light Could Drive Silicon Photonics." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 September 2006. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060918132740.htm>.
University Of California, Santa Barbara. (2006, September 18). World's First Hybrid Silicon Laser: Chip That Emits And Guides Light Could Drive Silicon Photonics. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 31, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060918132740.htm
University Of California, Santa Barbara. "World's First Hybrid Silicon Laser: Chip That Emits And Guides Light Could Drive Silicon Photonics." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2006/09/060918132740.htm (accessed July 31, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

Britain Testing Driverless Cars on Roadways

AP (July 30, 2014) British officials said on Wednesday that driverless cars will be tested on roads in as many as three cities in a trial program set to begin in January. Officials said the tests will last up to three years. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

Amid Drought, UCLA Sees Only Water

AP (July 30, 2014) A ruptured 93-year-old water main left the UCLA campus awash in 8 million gallons of water in the middle of California's worst drought in decades. (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

Smartphone Powered Paper Plane Debuts at Airshow

AP (July 30, 2014) Smartphone powered paper airplane that was popular on crowdfunding website KickStarter makes its debut at Wisconsin airshow (July 30) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

U.K. To Allow Driverless Cars On Public Roads

Newsy (July 30, 2014) Driverless cars could soon become a staple on U.K. city streets, as they're set to be introduced to a few cities in 2015. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

    Environment News

    Technology News



      Save/Print:
      Share:

      Free Subscriptions


      Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

      Get Social & Mobile


      Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

      Have Feedback?


      Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
      Mobile: iPhone Android Web
      Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
      Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
      Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins