Waveguide-coupled nanopillar metal-cavity light-emitting diodes on silicon


Dolores Calzadilla, V.M., Patarata Romeira, B.M., Pagliano, F., Birindelli, S., Higuera Rodriguez, A., Smit, M.K., Fiore, A. & Heiss, D. (2017). Waveguide-coupled nanopillar metal-cavity light-emitting diodes on silicon. Nature Communications, 8:14323 In Scopus Cited 8 times.

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Nanoscale light sources using metal cavities have been proposed to enable high integration density, efficient operation at low energy per bit and ultra-fast modulation, which would make them attractive for future low-power optical interconnects. For this application, such devices are required to be efficient, waveguide-coupled and integrated on a silicon substrate. We demonstrate a metal-cavity light-emitting diode coupled to a waveguide on silicon. The cavity
consists of a metal-coated III–V semiconductor nanopillar which funnels a large fraction of spontaneous emission into the fundamental mode of an InP waveguide bonded to a silicon wafer showing full compatibility with membrane-on-Si photonic integration platforms. The device was characterized through a grating coupler and shows on-chip external quantum efficiency in the 104–102 range at tens of microamp current injection levels, which greatly exceeds the performance of any waveguide-coupled nanoscale light source integrated
on silicon in this current range. Furthermore, direct modulation experiments reveal sub-nanosecond electro-optical response with the potential for multi gigabit per second modulation speeds.