Hertz-linewidth semiconductor lasers using CMOS-ready ultra-high-Q microresonators

W. Jin, Q. Yang, L. Chang, B. Shen, H. Wang, M. A. Leal, L. Wu, M. Gao, A. Feshali, M. Paniccia, K. J. Vahala & J. E. Bowers
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200 mm wafer
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Nature Photonics
15, 346–353

Driven by narrow-linewidth bench-top lasers, coherent optical systems spanning optical communications, metrology and sensing provide unrivalled performance. To transfer these capabilities from the laboratory to the real world, a key missing ingredient is a mass-produced integrated laser with superior coherence. Here, we bridge conventional semiconductor lasers and coherent optical systems using CMOS-foundry-fabricated microresonators with a high Q factor of over 260 million and finesse over 42,000. A five-orders-of-magnitude noise reduction in the pump laser is demonstrated, enabling a frequency noise of 0.2 Hz^2 Hz^−1 to be achieved in an electrically pumped integrated laser, with a corresponding short-term linewidth of 1.2 Hz. Moreover, the same configuration is shown to relieve the dispersion requirements for microcomb generation that have handicapped certain nonlinear platforms. The simultaneous realization of this high Q factor, highly coherent lasers and frequency combs using foundry-based technologies paves the way for volume manufacturing of a wide range of coherent optical systems.

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Research Areas
Photonics Integrated Circuits