Increasing the modulation speed of semiconductor lasers has attracted much attention from the viewpoint of both physics and the applications of lasers. Here we propose a membrane distributed reflector laser on a low-refractive-index and high-thermal-conductivity silicon carbide substrate that overcomes the modulation bandwidth limit. The laser features a high modulation efficiency because of its large optical confinement in the active region and small differential gain reduction at a high injection current density. We achieve a 42 GHz relaxation oscillation frequency by using a laser with a 50-μm-long active region. The cavity, designed to have a short photon lifetime, suppresses the damping effect while keeping the threshold carrier density low, resulting in a 60 GHz intrinsic 3 dB bandwidth (f3dB). By employing the photon–photon resonance at 95 GHz due to optical feedback from an integrated output waveguide, we achieve an f3dB of 108 GHz and demonstrate 256 Gbit s−1 four-level pulse-amplitude modulations with a 475 fJ bit−1 energy cost of the direct-current electrical input.
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We thank Y. Shouji, Y. Yokoyama, M. Hosoya, K. Ishibashi, J. Asaoka, and Y. Kawaguchi for assistance with device fabrication. We also thank Y. Maeda, T. Aihara and H. Fukuda for technical support with the measurements and K. Nozaki, H. Yamazaki and M. Nagatani for lending us the measurement equipment.
The authors declare no competing interests.
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Yamaoka, S., Diamantopoulos, NP., Nishi, H. et al. Directly modulated membrane lasers with 108 GHz bandwidth on a high-thermal-conductivity silicon carbide substrate. Nat. Photonics 15, 28–35 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-020-00700-y
Light: Science & Applications (2022)
Nature Photonics (2021)
npj Quantum Information (2021)
Nature Photonics (2021)