Tunable quantum dot lasers grown directly on silicon

Yating Wan, Sen Zhang, Justin C. Norman, M. J. Kennedy, William He, Songtao Liu, Chao Xiang, Chen Shang, Jian Jun He, Arthur C. Gossard, John E. Bowers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Tunable semiconductor lasers are often listed in critical technology road maps for future dense-wavelength-division-multiplexing (DWDM) systems and high-performance computing systems, and they are increasingly demanded in long-haul, metropolitan, and access networks. The capability to produce such lasers directly on silicon (Si) could boost the use of Si photonics and facilitate the adoption of optical data transmission even at the chip scale. Moreover, just the use of Si as a cheap and large-diameter substrate for device production is very advantageous, as the fabrication can take advantage of the highly optimized processing techniques and economy of scale enabled by decades of development in Si microelectronics. Here, we report a tunable single-wavelength quantum dot (QD) laser directly grown on Si. The high carrier confinement and a real dot density of QDs provide reduced sensitivity to crystalline defects, which allows for exceptional lasing performance even in lattice-mismatched material systems. The discrete density of states of dots yields unique gain properties that show promise for improved device performance and new functionalities relative to the quantum well counterparts, including high temperature stability, low threshold operation, reduced sidewall recombination, and isolator-free stability. We implement a simple, integrable architecture to achieve over 45 dB side-mode-suppression-ratio without involving regrowth steps or subwavelength grating lithography. Under continuous-wave electrical injection at room temperature, we achieved a 16 nm tuning range with output powers of over 2.7 mW per tuning wavelength. This work represents a step towards using III–V/Si epitaxy to form efficient, easily manufacturable on-chip Si light sources for not only DWDM networks, but also spectroscopy, biosensors, and many other emerging applications.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1394-1400
Number of pages7
Issue number11
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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