Hybrid photonic crystal cavity based lasers
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In recent years, Silicon Photonics has emerged as a promising technology for cost-effective fabrication of photonic components and integrated circuits, the application of which is recently expanding in technological fields beyond tele- and data-communications, such as sensing and biophotonics. Compact, energy-efficient laser sources with precise wavelength control are crucial for the aforementioned applications. However, practical, efficient, electrically-pumped lasers on Silicon or other group IV elements are still absent, owing to the indirect bandgap of those materials. Consequently, the integration of III-V compounds on Silicon currently appears to be the most viable route to the realization of such lasers. In this thesis, I present and explore the potential of an External Cavity (EC) hybrid III-V/Silicon laser design, comprising a III-V-based Reflective Semiconductor Optical Amplifier (RSOA) and a Silicon reflector chip, based on a two-dimensional Photonic Crystal (PhC) cavity vertically coupled to a low-refractive-index dielectric waveguide. The vertically coupled system functions as a wavelength-selective reflector, determining the lasing wavelength. Based on this architecture mW-level continuous-wave (CW) lasing at room temperature was shown both in a fiber-based long cavity scheme and die-based short cavity scheme, with SMSR of > 25 dB and > 40 dB, respectively. Furthermore, by electrically modulating the refractive index of the PhC cavity in the reflector chip, tuning of the emitted wavelength was achieved in the die-based short cavity EC laser configuration. In this way, I demonstrated the suitability of the examined EC configuration for direct frequency modulation. The proposed scheme eliminates the need for wavelength matching between the laser source and a resonant modulator, and reveals the potential of employing low-power-consumption resonant modulation in practical Silicon Photonics applications.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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