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12 May 2008 Further improvements in Er3+ coupled to Si nanoclusters rib waveguides
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The use of broadband efficient sensitizers for Er3+ ions relaxes the expensive conditions needed for the pump source and raises the performances of the optical amplifier. Within this context Si nanoclusters (Si-nc) in silica matrices have revealed as optimum sensitizers and open the route towards electrically pumped optical amplifiers. Up to date two have been the main limiting issues for achieving absolute optical gain, the first one is the low quantity of erbium efficiently coupled to the Si-nc while the second is the carrier absorption mechanism (CA) within the Si-nc, which generates additional losses instead of providing amplification. In this work we will present a detailed study of the optical properties of a set of samples prepared by confocal reactive magnetron co-sputtering of pure SiO2 and Er2O3 targets. The material has been optimised in terms of the increasing of Er3+-related PL intensity and lifetime as well as the decreasing down to 3 dB/cm of the propagation losses in the rib-loaded waveguides outside the absorption peak of erbium. Our signal enhancement results show that we have been able to reduce the CA losses to less than 0.2 dB/cm at pump fluxes as high as 1020 ph/cm2 s. Around 25% of the optically active erbium population has been inverted through indirect excitation (pumping with a 476nm laser line), leading to internal gain coefficients of more than 1 dB/cm.
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A. Pitanti, D. Navarro-Urrios, R. Guider, N. Daldosso, F. Gourbilleau, L. Khomenkova, R. Rizk, and L. Pavesi "Further improvements in Er3+ coupled to Si nanoclusters rib waveguides", Proc. SPIE 6996, Silicon Photonics and Photonic Integrated Circuits, 699619 (12 May 2008);

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