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IQE’s Large Scale MBE Technology Paves the Way for Next Generation Silicon Photonics

ESTnet Premier Member IQE have announced that its epitaxial wafer technology has been used to help develop next generation quantum dot lasers on silicon substrates to enable the integration of photonics devices with silicon technology for low cost, high volume data communication applications.

The results of work by IQE in conjunction with the University of California Santa Barbara (UCSB) will be presented at the Optical Fiber Communcations Conference (OFC) which is taking place this week in San Francisco.
Silicon photonics, which combines compound semiconductor devices with low cost silicon substrates, offers the potential to integrate highly sophisticated laser devices with more traditional low cost CMOS driver and waveguide technology.
The researchers believe this work represents an important step towards large-scale photonic integration in an ultra low-cost platform for high volume consumer applications which will lead to the mass adoption of silicon photonics.
A key feature in enabling the cost effective integration of photonic devices with silicon technology is the ability to grow compound semiconductor ”quantum dots” onto silicon substrates using MBE growth technology that has a proven track record for high volume manufacturing of wireless products.
Researchers at UCSB demonstrated a novel quantum dot laser design that not only is grown on silicon but that performs as well as similar lasers grown on their native substrates.
IQE provided both the engineered germanium/silicon substrates and the III-V molecular beam epitaxy (MBE) template growth. The growth of the quantum dot laser structure and fabrication of the laser components were performed at UCSB.