Can lasers on chips be made even more efficient and cheaper?

(28-05-2021) Bahawal Haq's doctoral research examines whether lasers on chips can be made more efficient and cheaper.

Photonic technologies have many applications, ranging from communication links for high-speed data transfer in data centers to object detection in autonomous vehicles.

Light sources such as lasers are one of the key components for these applications. In order to develop efficient lasers on a silicon photonics chip, integration of III-V* material layers or III-V devices (a III-V chip) is needed.

* By III-V, we mean that material layers (alloys) or devices (e.g., chips) are composed of elements from groups III & V of the periodic table (Mendeleev's table).

In his doctoral research ‘III-V-on-Si SOAs and DFB/DBR Lasers Realised Using Micro-Transfer Printing’ Bahawal Haq developed a new technique to integrate III-V materials or devices on a silicon photonics chip: micro-transfer printing. With this technique, III-V semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) can be transferred from a III-V wafer onto a silicon photonics chip. This new technique makes integration much more efficient and less expensive.

"One of the challenges was to enable good coupling efficiency between the micro-transfer printed SOA and the underlying Si waveguide structure," explains Bahawal Haq, "We solved this problem by designing photonic coupling structures that are compatible with micro-transfer printing."

"With my doctoral research, I hope to contribute to making lasers on chips more efficient and less expensive", Bahawal Haq concludes.

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Contact: Günther Roelkens

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Editor: Jeroen Ongenae - Final editing: Ilse Vercruysse - Illustrator: Roger Van Hecke