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Phys Rev Lett. 2015 Jul 10;115(2):027403. Epub 2015 Jul 10.

High Gain Submicrometer Optical Amplifier at Near-Infrared Communication Band.

Author information

1
Key Laboratory for Micro-Nano Physics and Technology of Hunan Province, School of Physics and Electronic Science, and State Key Laboratory of Chemo/Biosensing and Chemometrics, Hunan University Changsha, Hunan 410082, People's Republic of China.
2
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.
3
Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of California, Los Angeles, California 90095, USA.

Abstract

Nanoscale near-infrared optical amplification is important but remains a challenge to achieve. Here we report a unique design of silicon and erbium silicate core-shell nanowires for high gain submicrometer optical amplification in the near-infrared communication band. The high refraction index silicon core is used to tightly confine the optical field within the submicron structures, and the single crystalline erbium-ytterbium silicates shell is used as the highly efficient gain medium. Both theoretical and experimental results show that, by systematically tuning the core diameter and shell thickness, a large portion of the optical power can be selectively confined to the erbium silicate shell gain medium to enable a low loss waveguide and high gain optical amplifier. Experimental results further demonstrate that an optimized core-shell nanowire can exhibit an excellent net gain up to 31  dB mm(-1), which is more than 20 times larger than the previously reported best results on the micron-scale optical amplifiers.

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