1 May 2014 Erbium-doped spiral amplifiers with 20 dB gain on a silicon chip
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Abstract
We report the fabrication and optical characterization of long, spiral-shaped erbium-doped aluminum oxide (Al2O3:Er3+) channel waveguides for achieving high overall signal amplification on a small footprint. Al2O3:Er3+ films with Er3+ concentrations in the range between 0.44−3.1×1020 cm-3 were deposited by reactive co-sputtering onto standard, thermally oxidized silicon substrates. Spiral-shaped waveguides were designed and structured into the films by chlorinebased reactive ion etching. In the current design, each spiral waveguide occupies an area of 1 cm2. Typical background propagation losses near 1500 nm are (0.2±0.1) dB/cm. A commercially available, pigtailed diode laser at 976 nm was employed as the pump source. The erbium-doped waveguide amplifiers were characterized in the small-signal-gain regime at the peak-gain wavelength (λ = 1532 nm) of Al2O3:Er3+. A maximum of 20 dB of internal net gain was measured for a 24.5-cm-long spiral waveguide with an Er3+ concentration of 0.95×1020 cm-3. Similar results were obtained for a shorter spiral with an Er3+ concentration about twice as high. Samples with lower concentration exhibited lower gain because of insufficient pump absorption, while samples with higher concentration showed less gain because of migration-accelerated energy transfer up-conversion and, more importantly, a fast quenching process.
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S. A. Vázquez-Córdova, E. H. Bernhardi, K. Wörhoff, S. M. García-Blanco, M. Pollnau, "Erbium-doped spiral amplifiers with 20 dB gain on a silicon chip", Proc. SPIE 9133, Silicon Photonics and Photonic Integrated Circuits IV, 913308 (1 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2052298; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2052298
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