Apr 20, 2016

Team builds first quantum cascade laser on silicon

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Very nice; Silicon based Quantum Laser has been achieved. Imagine what this does for ISPs and other communications. smile

A team of researchers from across the country, led by Alexander Spott, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA, have built the first quantum cascade laser on silicon. The advance may have applications that span from chemical bond spectroscopy and gas sensing, to astronomy and free-space communications.

Integrating lasers directly on chips is challenging, but it is much more efficient and compact than coupling external light to the chips. The indirect bandgap of silicon makes it difficult to build a laser out of silicon, but diode lasers can be built with III-V materials such as InP or GaAs. By directly bonding an III-V layer on top of the silicon wafer and then using the III-V layers to generate gain for the laser, this same group has integrated a multiple quantum well laser on silicon that operates at 2 µm. Limitations in diode lasers prevent going to longer wavelengths where there are many more applications, so the group turned their attention to using quantum cascade lasers instead.

Building a on silicon was a challenging task made more difficult by the fact that becomes heavily absorptive at longer wavelengths in the mid-infrared.

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