Athermal synchronization of laser source with WDM filter in a silicon photonics platform
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In an optical interconnect circuit, microring resonators (MRRs) are commonly used in wavelength division multiplexing systems. To make the MRR and laser synchronized, the resonance wavelength of the MRR needs to be thermally controlled, and the power consumption becomes significant with a high-channel count. Here, we demonstrate an athermally synchronized rare-earth-doped laser and MRR. The laser comprises a Si3N4 based cavity covered with erbium-doped Al2O3 to provide gain. The low thermo-optic coefficient of Al2O3 and Si3N4 and the comparable thermal shift of the effective index in the laser and microring cross-sections enable lasing and resonance wavelength synchronization over a wide range of temperatures. The power difference between matched and unmatched channels remains greater than 15 dB from 20 to 50 °C due to a synchronized wavelength shift of 0.02 nm/°C. The athermal synchronization approach reported here is not limited to microring filters but can be applied to any Si3N4 filter with integrated lasers using rare earth ion doped Al2O3 as a gain medium to achieve system-level temperature control free operation.
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