InP microdisks for optical signal processing and data transmission

J. Hofrichter

Research output: ThesisPhd Thesis 1 (Research TU/e / Graduation TU/e)

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The performance increase in telecommunication and computing systems demands an ever increasing input-output (IO) bandwidth and IO density, which can be met by integrated photonics. Using photonic integration, much higher densities of optical components can be achieved allowing for short-range optical communication systems in, e.g., high performance computers. The key functionalities required for these optical communication systems are light generation, light modulation and light detection. In addition to this other functionalities are also desirable, such as wavelength conversion. This thesis highlights the design and fabrication of indium phosphide (InP) microdisks heterogeneously integrated on silicon-on-insulator substrates. The fabrication of the microdisks in a laboratory clean-room environment is described. These devices can fulfil the above-mentioned functions required in optical communication. Experiments are then performed on the fabricated devices dealing with these various functionalities that are required for optical communication. The lasing properties of the devices are shown and simulated with a spatiallydependent rate equation model accurately predicting the device behaviour. A detailed speed analysis is given, including a parameter extraction of the devices. The operation of the devices as detectors is highlighted. Furthermore the PhD thesis provides a deep analysis of the use of InP microdisks as modulators. Besides the forward-biased operation principle using the free-carrier plasma-dispersion effect, also a high-speed reversely biased operation mode is proposed and demonstrated experimentally. The thesis also describes various approaches on how to improve the performance of the devices, in particular when using them as lasers. Ways how to increase the output power and how to enhance the operation speed are discussed. Because the device is strongly dependent on the coupling between the resonant InP cavity and the silicon waveguide, an extensive analysis of the coupling and the influence of certain process steps on the device performance are given. The PhD thesis concludes the work carried out on InP microdisks and gives an outlook about improving the device performance with respect to specific applications and how to further improve the manufacturability of the devices. Finally, for the InP microdisk-based devices an outlook is given about suitable applications, such as on-chip optical links for instance.
Original languageEnglish
QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
Awarding Institution
  • Electrical Engineering
  • Dorren, Harm, Promotor
  • Offrein, B.J., Copromotor, External person
Award date14 Feb 2013
Place of PublicationEindhoven
Print ISBNs978-3-86387-258-8
Publication statusPublished - 2013


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