Fully exploiting the silicon photonics platform for large-volume, cost-sensitive applications requires a fundamentally new approach to directly integrate high-performance laser sources using wafer-scale fabrication methods. Direct-bandgap III–V semiconductors allow efficient light generation, but the large mismatch in lattice constant, thermal expansion and crystal polarity makes their epitaxial growth directly on silicon extremely complex. Using a selective-area growth technique in confined regions, we surpass this fundamental limit and demonstrate an optically pumped InP-based distributed feedback laser array monolithically grown on (001)-silicon operating at room temperature and suitable for wavelength-division-multiplexing applications. The novel epitaxial technology suppresses threading dislocations and anti-phase boundaries to a less than 20-nm-thick layer, which does not affect device performance. Using an in-plane laser cavity defined using standard top-down lithographic patterning together with a high yield and high uniformity provides scalability and a straightforward path towards cost-effective co-integration with silicon photonic and electronic circuits.
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This work was supported by the European Commission through ERC project ULPPIC (Ultra Low Power Photonic IC) and imec's industry-affiliation programme on optical I/O. The authors thank R. Baets, G. Roelkens and N. Le Thomas for discussions.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Wang, Z., Tian, B., Pantouvaki, M. et al. Room-temperature InP distributed feedback laser array directly grown on silicon. Nature Photon 9, 837–842 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2015.199
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