With the ever-increasing need for high data transmission speed it is clear that optical interconnects between processor chips are required. Higher data rates and interconnection densities with lower system-level power dissipations could be obtained when using photons as the medium to detect, process, and transmit information, rather than converting between electrical and optical signals, i.e. all-optical information processing. Other advantages provided by optical interconnects in comparison to their electrical counterparts include, the difficulty in scaling down electrical interconnects makes resistive loss and capacitive latency an issue, precision of synchronisation, voltage isolation (less cross-talk) and design simplification.
Silicon photonics is currently a dominant technology in optical and data communication systems which demand for higher speeds, low power consumption and low cost. However, on-chip integrated, high efficiency lasers are still elusive due to mechanical/structural mismatch in material platforms between the lasers and silicon substrates. Using selective area growth to engineer the shape of III-V semiconductors (material of choice for laser) at the nano/micro-scale, this project will investigate the design, growth, fabrication and characterisation of micro-ring lasers on silicon platforms.
The aims of project are to:
- develop epitaxial growth technology for InP-based micro-rings on patterned Si and Si-on-insulator substrates
- understand the growth mechanism at the nano- and micro-scale to be able to control the faceting behaviour of the micro-rings
- study the Q-factor and various optical modes, in particular the whispering gallery modes, supported in micro-ring cavities
- integrate waveguides with the micro-ring cavities and study the coupling properties
- investigate lasing action from the micro-rings