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Nature. 2005 Feb 17;433(7027):725-8.

A continuous-wave Raman silicon laser.

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Intel Corporation, 2200 Mission College Blvd, CHP3-109, Santa Clara, California 95054, USA.


Achieving optical gain and/or lasing in silicon has been one of the most challenging goals in silicon-based photonics because bulk silicon is an indirect bandgap semiconductor and therefore has a very low light emission efficiency. Recently, stimulated Raman scattering has been used to demonstrate light amplification and lasing in silicon. However, because of the nonlinear optical loss associated with two-photon absorption (TPA)-induced free carrier absorption (FCA), until now lasing has been limited to pulsed operation. Here we demonstrate a continuous-wave silicon Raman laser. Specifically, we show that TPA-induced FCA in silicon can be significantly reduced by introducing a reverse-biased p-i-n diode embedded in a silicon waveguide. The laser cavity is formed by coating the facets of the silicon waveguide with multilayer dielectric films. We have demonstrated stable single mode laser output with side-mode suppression of over 55 dB and linewidth of less than 80 MHz. The lasing threshold depends on the p-i-n reverse bias voltage and the laser wavelength can be tuned by adjusting the wavelength of the pump laser. The demonstration of a continuous-wave silicon laser represents a significant milestone for silicon-based optoelectronic devices.

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