Understanding the bandwidth limitations in monolithic 1.3 μm InAs/GaAs quantum dot lasers on silicon

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In this paper, we present measurements and simulations of the small-signal modulation response of monolithic continuous-wave 1.3 μm InAs/GaAs quantum dot (QD) narrow ridge-waveguide lasers on a silicon substrate. The 2.5 mm-long lasers investigated demonstrate 3dB modulation bandwidths of 1.6 GHz, D-factors of 0.3 GHz/mA1/2, modulation current efficiencies of 0.4 GHz/mA1/2, and K-factors of 2.4 ns and 3.7 ns. Since the devices under test are not designed for high-speed operation due to their long length and hence long photon lifetime, the modulation response curves are used as a fitting template for numerical simulations with spatiotemporal resolution to gain insight into the underlying laser physics. The obtained parameter set is used to unveil the true potential of the laser material in an optimized device geometry by modeling the small-signal response at different cavity lengths, mirror reflectivities, and for different numbers of QD layers. The simulations predict a maximum 3dB modulation bandwidth of 5 GHz to 7 GHz for a 0.75 mm-long cavity with 99 % and 60 % high-reflection coatings and ten QD layers. Modeling the impact of dislocations on the dynamic performance qualitatively reveals that enhanced non-radiative recombination in the wetting layer leaves the modulation bandwidth of QD lasers on silicon almost unaffected, while dislocation-induced optical loss does not pose a problem, as long as sufficient gain is provided by the QD active region.

Integrated optics, modulation, quantum dot lasers, semiconductor device modeling, silicon devices
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Journal of Lightwave Technology
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Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)
Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EP/H022384/1)
UK EPSRC Grant, No. EP/J012904/1 & EP/J012815/1 Qualcomm Inc. studentship Royal Academy of Engineering, Reference No. RF201617/16/28