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High-Performance III-V Quantum-Dot Lasers Monolithically Grown on Si and Ge Substrates for Si Photonics

Wang, T; (2012) High-Performance III-V Quantum-Dot Lasers Monolithically Grown on Si and Ge Substrates for Si Photonics. Doctoral thesis , UCL (University College London). Green open access

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Abstract

Self-assembled III-V quantum dots (QDs) attract intense research interest and effort due to their unique physical properties arising from the three-dimensional confinement of carriers and discrete density of states. Semiconductor III-V QD laser structures exhibit dramatically improved device performance in comparison with their quantum well (QW) counterparts, notably their ultra low threshold current density, less sensitivity to defects and outstanding thermal stability. Therefore, integrating a high-quality QD laser structure onto silicon-based platform could potentially constitute a hybrid technology for the realization of optical inter-chip communications. This thesis is devoted to the development of high-performance InAs/GaAs QD lasers directly grown on silicon substrates and germanium substrates for silicon photonics. In the integration of III-V on silicon, direct GaAs heteroepitaxy on silicon is extremely challenging due to the substantial lattice and thermal expansion mismatch between GaAs and Si. The inherent high-density propagating dislocations can degrade the performance of III-V based lasers on silicon substrates. To enhance the device performance, QW dislocation filters are used here to create a strain field, which bends the propagating dislocations back towards the substrate. Here, we report the first operation of an electrically-pumped 1.3-\mu m InAs/GaAs QD laser epitaxially grown on Si (100) substrate. A threshold current density of 725 A/cm2 and an output power of 26 mW has been achieved for broad-area lasers with as-cleaved facets at room temperature. To avoid the formation of high-density threading dislocations (TDs), an alternative to direct growth of GaAs on silicon substrate is to use an intermediate material, which has a similar lattice constant to GaAs with fewer defects. Germanium appears to be the ideal candidate for a virtual substrate for GaAs growth, because germanium is almost lattice-matched to GaAs (only 0.08% mismatch). In the last 20 years, the fabrication of germanium-on-silicon (Ge/Si) virtual substrates has been intensely investigated with the demonstration of high-quality Ge/Si virtual substrates. The main challenge for the growth of GaAs on Ge/Si virtual substrate is to avoid the formation of anti-phase domains due to the polar/non-polar interface between GaAs and germanium. A new growth technique was invented for suppressing the formation of anti-phase domains for the growth of GaAs on germanium substrates at UCL. Based on this technique, lasing at a wavelength of 1305nm with a threshold current density of 55.2A/cm2 was observed for InAs/GaAs QD laser grown on germanium substrate under continuous-wave current drive at room temperature. The results suggest that long-wavelength InAs/GaAs QD lasers on silicon substrates can be realized by epitaxial growth on Ge/Si substrates. Studies in this thesis are an essential step towards the monolithic integration of long-wavelength InAs/GaAs QD lasers on a silicon substrate, as well as the integration of other III-V devices through fabricating III-V devices on silicon substrates.

Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Title: High-Performance III-V Quantum-Dot Lasers Monolithically Grown on Si and Ge Substrates for Si Photonics
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Language: English
UCL classification: UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > UCL BEAMS > Faculty of Engineering Science
URI: http://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/1362647
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