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Spiral amplifiers in a-Al2O3:Er on a silicon chip with 20 dB internal net gain
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2015 (English)In: INTEGRATED OPTICS: DEVICES, MATERIALS, AND TECHNOLOGIES XIX, 2015, Vol. 9365, 93650MConference paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Spiral-waveguide amplifiers in erbium-doped amorphous aluminum oxide are fabricated by RF reactive co-sputtering of 1-mu m-thick layers onto a thermally-oxidized silicon wafer and chlorine-based reactive ion etching. The samples are overgrown by a SiO2 cladding. Spirals with several lengths ranging from 13 cm to 42 cm and four different erbium concentrations between 0.5-3.0x10(20) cm(-3) are experimentally characterized. A maximum internal net gain of 20 dB in the small-signal-gain regime is measured at the peak emission wavelength of 1532 nm for two sample configurations with waveguide lengths of 13 cm and 24 cm and erbium concentrations of 2x10(20) cm(-3) and 1x10(20) cm(-3), respectively. The obtained gain improves previous results by van den Hoven et al. in this host material by a factor of 9. Gain saturation as a result of increasing signal power is investigated. Positive net gain is measured in the saturated-gain regime up to similar to 100 mu W of signal power, but extension to the mW regime seems feasible. The experimental results are compared to a rate-equation model that takes into account migration-accelerated energy-transfer upconversion (ETU) and a fast quenching process affecting a fraction of the erbium ions. Without these two detrimental processes, several tens of dB/cm of internal net gain per unit length would be achievable. Whereas ETU limits the gain per unit length to 8 dB/cm, the fast quenching process further reduces it to 2 dB/cm. The fast quenching process strongly deteriorates the amplifier performance of the Al2O3:Er3+ waveguide amplifiers. This effect is accentuated for concentrations higher than 2x10(20) cm(-3).

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 9365, 93650M
, Proceedings of SPIE, ISSN 0277-786X
Keyword [en]
Amorphous aluminum oxide, erbium, optical gain, waveguide amplifier, spiral amplifier, rate-equation model
National Category
Electrical Engineering, Electronic Engineering, Information Engineering Atom and Molecular Physics and Optics
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-169370DOI: 10.1117/12.2077503ISI: 000353703500009ISBN: 978-1-62841-455-4OAI: diva2:820746
19th Photonics West Conference on Integrated Optics - Devices, Materials, and Technologies, FEB 09-11, 2015, San Francisco, CA

QC 20150612

Available from: 2015-06-12 Created: 2015-06-12 Last updated: 2015-06-12Bibliographically approved

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Pollnau, Markus
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