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Raman-based silicon photonics

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4 Author(s)
Jalali, B. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Univ. of California, Los Angeles, CA, USA ; Raghunathan, V. ; Dimitropoulos, D. ; Boyraz, O.

This paper reviews recent progress in a new branch of silicon photonics that exploits Raman scattering as a practical and elegant approach for realizing active photonic devices in pure silicon. The large Raman gain in the material, enhanced by the tight optical confinement in Si/SiO2 heterostructures, has enabled the demonstration of the first optical amplifiers and lasers in silicon. Wavelength conversion, between the technologically important wavelength bands of 1300 and 1500 nm, has also been demonstrated through Raman four wave mixing. Since carrier generation through two photon absorption is omnipresent in semiconductors, carrier lifetime is the single most important parameter affecting the performance of silicon Raman devices. A desired reduction in lifetime is attained by reducing the lateral dimensions of the optical waveguide, and by actively removing the carriers with a reverse biased diode. An integrated diode also offers the ability to electrically modulate the optical gain, a unique property not available in fiber Raman devices. Germanium-silicon alloys and superlattices offer the possibility of engineering the otherwise rigid spectrum of Raman in silicon.

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Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:12 ,  Issue: 3 )