Integrated polymer laser light source for silicon nanophotonic devices - PASSION

The integration of laser light sources in silicon nanophotonic chips is a strongly demanded feature for a wide range of applications. Apart from data and telecom, optical sensing represents a highly attractive field of application.
Recently, CMOS compatible silicon nitride waveguides have been attracting increasing interest due to their transparency in the visible wavelength region, which is of practical relevance in sensing applications. In particular, silicon nitride waveguides are expected to enable a variety of new biophotonic applications when working at wavelengths below 1 µm, e.g. for medical diagnostics or environmental sensing.
This project aims at the realization of an integrated polymer laser light source for CMOS-compatible silicon nitride waveguide based devices. The goal is to implement this laser source by locally depositing an organic gain medium onto a silicon nitride waveguide resonator structure. The pumping of the gain-medium will be performed by an external light source. Within this research project, the necessary steps to realize such an optically pumped laser light source on silicon nitride waveguides will be elaborated. This involves the following specific goals:
1. Development of an organic laser gain medium with suitable dyes properly embedded in a polymer matrix.
2. Design, fabrication, and characterization of CMOS-compatible silicon nitride waveguides with integrated resonator structures.
3. Local deposition of the polymer gain medium onto the waveguide resonator structure as a thin film.
4. Performance of optical pumping experiments with spectral characterization of the emitted light and confirmation of the laser action.

The project brings together the complementary expertise of three partners: The Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences (ICCAS) with its know-how on polymer embedded dye materials and printing technology, ams AG with its silicon processing technology, and AIT with its expertise in integrated-optics design and characterization.

 

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