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

: Dolores-Calzadilla, V.; Romeira, B.; Pagliano, F.; Birindelli, S.; Higuera-Rodriguez, A.; Veldhoven, P.J. van; Smit, M.K.; Fiore, A.; Heiss, D.

Fulltext ()

Nature Communications 8 (2017), Art. 14323, 8 pp.
ISSN: 2041-1723
European Commission EC
FP7; 288869; NAVOLCHI
Journal Article, Electronic Publication
Fraunhofer HHI ()

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 10(-4)-10(-2) 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.