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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.

Volltext ()

Nature Communications 8 (2017), Art. 14323, 8 S.
ISSN: 2041-1723
European Commission EC
FP7; 288869; NAVOLCHI
Zeitschriftenaufsatz, Elektronische Publikation
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.