Integrated Erbium Laser in Silicon Photonics

Student: Purnawirman

Committee: Professor Michael R. Watts (Thesis Supervisor), Professor Erich P. Ippen, Professor Franz X. Kaertner


We present a result on the development of an integrated erbium-doped aluminum oxide laser on a silicon photonics platform. The key achievement in this work is a scalable laser design for high output power and ultra-narrow linewidth performance. Using a novel wavelength-insensitive design, a CMOS compatible waveguide structure

is proposed to achieve high confinement factor and intensity overlap for both the pump (980 nm) and signal (1550 nm) wavelengths. Laser operation in the C- and L- bands of the erbium gain spectrum is obtained with both a distributed Bragg reflector and a distributed feedback structure. We demonstrate power scaling with output power

greater than 75 mW and obtain an ultra-narrow linewidth of 5.3 +/- 0.3 kHz. We investigate the influence of gain film thickness uniformity in distributed feedback laser performance and show a compensation scheme based on a curved cavity design. We then consider the application in optical communications by demonstrating a multi-wavelength cascaded laser and platform integration with active silicon devices.