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Opt Express. 2007 Sep 3;15(18):11272-7.

Tensile-strained, n-type Ge as a gain medium for monolithic laser integration on Si.


We analyze the optical gain of tensile-strained, n-type Ge material for Si-compatible laser applications. The band structure of unstrained Ge exhibits indirect conduction band valleys (L) lower than the direct valley (Gamma) by 136 meV. Adequate strain and n-type doping engineering can effectively provide population inversion in the direct bandgap of Ge. The tensile strain decreases the difference between the L valleys and the Gamma valley, while the extrinsic electrons from n-type doping fill the L valleys to the level of the Gamma valley to compensate for the remaining energy difference. Our modeling shows that with a combination of 0.25% tensile strain and an extrinsic electron density of 7.6x10(19)/cm(3) by n-type doping, a net material gain of ~400 cm(-1) can be obtained from the direct gap transition of Ge despite of the free carrier absorption loss. The threshold current density for lasing is estimated to be ~6kA cm(-2) for a typical edgeemitting double heterojunction structure. These results indicate that tensile strained n-type Ge is a good candidate for Si integrated lasers.

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