Research :: ECE :: UD



Novel Optically-Active Nano-Engineered Silicon-based Material & Device Platforms

Sylvain G. Cloutier

Group Staff

Undergraduate Student
Steve McKeown

Silicon-photonics is an extremely active research field aiming for a complete integration of optical circuitry with the actual silicon-based microelectronic platforms. These hybrid opto-electronic integrated platforms would take advantage of high-speed on-chip and inter-chip optical interconnects to dramatically improve the data transfer and information processing speeds. To enable this technological breakthrough, the only component still missing is an efficient CMOS-compatible intrinsic silicon-based laser device operating at room temperature and under electrical injection. Over the last two decades, persistent efforts have been made to improve light emission from silicon and reach laser action. However, this constitutes a major challenge due to fundamental material limitations making bulk silicon a most inefficient light emitter.

We have previously demonstrated that promising optoelectronic properties can be enabled in bulk silicon via non-lithographic template-assisted nanopatterning, including stimulated emission at cryogenic temperatures. Simultaneously, room-temperature performances under optical pumping were also dramatically improved. We are currently actively pursuing alternative routes to enable an intrinsic silicon-based laser operating room temperature operation and electrical injection.

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