Navigation Links
Engineers grow nanolasers on silicon, pave way for on-chip photonics
Date:2/6/2011

Berkeley Engineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have found a way to grow nanolasers directly onto a silicon surface, an achievement that could lead to a new class of faster, more efficient microprocessors, as well as to powerful biochemical sensors that use optoelectronic chips.

They describe their work in a paper to be published Feb. 6 in an advanced online issue of the journal Nature Photonics.

"Our results impact a broad spectrum of scientific fields, including materials science, transistor technology, laser science, optoelectronics and optical physics," said the study's principal investigator, Connie Chang-Hasnain, UC Berkeley professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences.

The increasing performance demands of electronics have sent researchers in search of better ways to harness the inherent ability of light particles to carry far more data than electrical signals can. Optical interconnects are seen as a solution to overcoming the communications bottleneck within and between computer chips.

Because silicon, the material that forms the foundation of modern electronics, is extremely deficient at generating light, engineers have turned to another class of materials known as III-V (pronounced "three-five") semiconductors to create light-based components such as light-emitting diodes (LEDs) and lasers.

But the researchers pointed out that marrying III-V with silicon to create a single optoelectronic chip has been problematic. For one, the atomic structures of the two materials are mismatched.

"Growing III-V semiconductor films on silicon is like forcing two incongruent puzzle pieces together," said study lead author Roger Chen, a UC Berkeley graduate student in electrical engineering and computer sciences. "It can be done, but the material gets damaged in the process."

Moreover, the manufacturing industry is set up for the production of silicon-based materials, so for practical reasons, the goal has been to integrate the fabrication of III-V devices into the existing infrastructure, the researchers said.

"Today's massive silicon electronics infrastructure is extremely difficult to change for both economic and technological reasons, so compatibility with silicon fabrication is critical," said Chang-Hasnain. "One problem is that growth of III-V semiconductors has traditionally involved high temperatures 700 degrees Celsius or more that would destroy the electronics. Meanwhile, other integration approaches have not been scalable."

The UC Berkeley researchers overcame this limitation by finding a way to grow nanopillars made of indium gallium arsenide, a III-V material, onto a silicon surface at the relatively cool temperature of 400 degrees Celsius.

"Working at nanoscale levels has enabled us to grow high quality III-V materials at low temperatures such that silicon electronics can retain their functionality," said Chen.

The researchers used metal-organic chemical vapor deposition to grow the nanopillars on the silicon. "This technique is potentially mass manufacturable, since such a system is already used commercially to make thin film solar cells and light emitting diodes," said Chang-Hasnain.

Once the nanopillar was made, the researchers showed that it could generate near infrared laser light a wavelength of about 950 nanometers at room temperature. The hexagonal geometry dictated by the crystal structure of the nanopillars creates a new, efficient, light-trapping optical cavity. Light circulates up and down the structure in a helical fashion and amplifies via this optical feedback mechanism.

The unique approach of growing nanolasers directly onto silicon could lead to highly efficient silicon photonics, the researchers said. They noted that the miniscule dimensions of the nanopillars smaller than one wavelength on each side, in some cases make it possible to pack them into small spaces with the added benefit of consuming very little energy

"Ultimately, this technique may provide a powerful and new avenue for engineering on-chip nanophotonic devices such as lasers, photodetectors, modulators and solar cells," said Chen.

"This is the first bottom-up integration of III-V nanolasers onto silicon chips using a growth process compatible with the CMOS (complementary metal oxide semiconductor) technology now used to make integrated circuits," said Chang-Hasnain. "This research has the potential to catalyze an optoelectronics revolution in computing, communications, displays and optical signal processing. In the future, we expect to improve the characteristics of these lasers and ultimately control them electronically for a powerful marriage between photonic and electronic devices."


'/>"/>

Contact: Sarah Yang
scyang@berkeley.edu
510-643-7741
University of California - Berkeley
Source:Eurekalert  

Related biology technology :

1. Bioengineers develop bacterial strain to increase ethanol biofuel production
2. Rensselaer mechanical engineers win first place at ASME student manufacturing design competition
3. Engineers make artificial skin out of nanowires
4. UCLA chemists, engineers achieve world record with high-speed graphene transistors
5. Inspired by a cotton candy machine, engineers put a new spin on creating tiny nanofibers
6. Engineers produce how-to guide for controlling the structure of nanoparticles
7. Capping a two-faced particle gives duke engineers complete control
8. UCR physicist receives highest honor US government gives young scientists or engineers
9. Connecting Materials Science With Biology, K-State Engineers Create DNA Sensors That Could Identify Cancer Using Material Only One Atom Thick
10. Siemens Offers Life Science Solutions Design Guide for Consulting Engineers
11. UB engineers prove that carbon nanotubes are superior to metals for electronics
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
Related Image:
Engineers grow nanolasers on silicon, pave way for on-chip photonics
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... Tunnell Consulting announced today that ... ISPE Annual Meeting and Expo , to be held October 29 through November ... is “Driving innovation to advance patient therapies.” , The ISPE Annual Meeting and Expo ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... Linda, Ca (PRWEB) , ... August 16, 2017 ... ... treatment by changing into a different cell type. Many treatments for specific cancers, ... A prominent example of targeted treatment is androgen deprivation therapy for advanced prostate ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... ... August 16, 2017 , ... ... delivery system, announced it has secured $2M in funding from an impressive group ... Carmen Innovations, and SVG Thrive Fund. With this investment, 3Bar is broadening availability ...
(Date:8/16/2017)... WAKEFIELD, Mass. , Aug. 16, 2017  This year,s edition of ... global leader in life sciences workforce solutions, has made the list for ... Inc. 5000 recognizes the nation,s fastest-growing private companies based on a set ... Fast 50, which includes the fastest-growing companies in the Bay ... Inc. 5000 ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
(Date:4/17/2017)... , April 17, 2017 NXT-ID, Inc. (NASDAQ: ... announces the filing of its 2016 Annual Report on Form 10-K ... Commission. ... 10-K is available in the Investor Relations section of the Company,s ... the SEC,s website at http://www.sec.gov . 2016 Year ...
(Date:4/11/2017)... , Apr. 11, 2017 Research and Markets ... 2017-2021" report to their offering. ... The global eye tracking market to grow at a CAGR ... Global Eye Tracking Market 2017-2021, has been prepared based on an ... the market landscape and its growth prospects over the coming years. ...
(Date:4/5/2017)...  The Allen Institute for Cell Science today announces ... portal and dynamic digital window into the human cell. ... application of deep learning to create predictive models of ... a growing suite of powerful tools. The Allen Cell ... publicly available resources created and shared by the Allen ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):