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Dynamic and nonlinear properties of quantum dot lasers for photonic integrated circuits on silicon

Abstract : Silicon photonics have been introduced to overcome low efficiency and high energy consumption of telecom links using twisted pairs or coaxial cables. This technology provides novel functionality and high performance for applications in high speed communication systems, short reach optical interconnects, and the deployment of optical links from chipto-chip, board-to-board or rack-to-rack (datacom). Silicon is known as a very efficient semiconductor material for waveguiding light in particular owing to the strong index contrast with silica. However, the indirect bandgap of silicon makes light emission from silicon inefficient, and other techniques such as wafer- or flipchip bonding must be investigated if light emission is to be realized. The drawbacks of such heterogeneous integration concentrate on the high cost and the limited scalability. Lasers heterogeneously integrated on silicon are also more sensitive to optical reflections originating from the transition between passive/active interfaces. The best way to overcome these drawbacks is to move on to direct epitaxial growth of IIIV materials on silicon for photonics integration. In this context, quantum dot lasers using semiconductor atoms as a gain medium are ideal because they enable smaller devices, amplification with large thermal stability and high tolerance to epitaxial defects. Ultra-low noise optical transmitters are required not only for the coherent systems but also for future chipscale atomic clocks and radar related applications because of the sensitivity to the frequency noise and intensity noise can strongly affect the bit error rates. To this end, the first part of the thesis reports an intrinsic spectral linewidth as low as 80 kHz and a relative intensity noise less than - 150 dB/Hz in InAs/InP quantum dot lasers. In particular, it is shown that a small vertical coupling is more suitable for low intensity noise operation due to the suppression of the carrier noise in the excited state. The second part of the thesis investigates the dynamic and nonlinear properties of epitaxial quantum dot lasers on silicon. As mentioned above, lasers heterogeneously integrated on silicon are more sensitive to parasitic reflections. When combined with external optical feedback, the laser stability can be dramatically affected. As no on-chip optical isolators integrated with lasers and having sufficient isolation ratio exist, the development of feedback insensitive transmitters remains a major objective. This thesis presents an error-free transmission of an epitaxial quantum dot laser on silicon externally modulated at 10 Gb/s and subjected to 100% optical feedback. Such remarkable feedback insensitivity directly results from the near-zero linewidth enhancement factor, the large damping factor, the strong contrast between the ground state and excited states and a shorter carrier lifetime. These results pave the way for future high-performance photonics integrated circuits on silicon operating without optical isolators.
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Jianan Duan. Dynamic and nonlinear properties of quantum dot lasers for photonic integrated circuits on silicon. Optics / Photonic. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLT050⟩. ⟨tel-02506422⟩

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