Erbium-doped lasers provide high power, narrow linewidth and thermally stable emission in the important 1.5-µm eye-safe and telecommunications band. By integrating such lasers on a chip we can realize cost-effective, compact and highly robust devices compared to fiber-based platforms. Furthermore, using a silicon-compatible fabrication approach allows for co-integration with silicon electronic/photonic devices and will open new applications for compact microsystems.
The presentation will cover our work on silicon-based erbium-doped aluminum oxide lasers (Al2O3:Er3+). Al2O3:Er3+ has recently received significant attention because of its broad emission, reduced clustering, and higher index, thus potential for more compact devices, compared to Er-doped silica. This has led to numerous demonstrations of amplification and lasing on chips using Al2O3:Er3+ as monolithic gain medium. As an important step towards silicon compatibility and exploiting wafer-scale lithography methods for high resolution cavity features, we have developed a silicon nitride-based Al2O3:Er3+ platform. Using such an approach, we have demonstrated a number of on-chip lasers, including distributed feedback, distributed Bragg reflector and microcavity devices. The talk will cover critical materials and design considerations towards realizing high performance lasers, including the influence of ion-ion clustering in the Al2O3 host, nanoscale film-thickness non-uniformities, and cavity