Semiconductor ring lasers for all-optical signal processing

Mezosi, Gabor (2011) Semiconductor ring lasers for all-optical signal processing. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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Since the late 1980s there has been a strong interest in exploiting optical bistablity for all-optical signal processing. In this scenario, a novel and promising building block is the semiconductor ring laser (SRL) that exhibits bistability between the counter-propagating cavity modes. This thesis reports on the design, fabrication and characterisation of 1550 nm lasing wavelength SRLs that are intended for applications as all-optical flip-flops and logic elements. Substantial optimisation of SRL design and processing technology is carried out in order to promote unidirectional bistable operation and allow high yield. Fabricated, large size, 150 um - 200 um radius SRLs, show robust unidirectional bistable operation with 30 - 35 dB directional extinction ratio (DER) between the counter-propagating modes, from near threshold up to 5 - 6 times threshold current bias. A significant advantage of the optimised technology is that 98% of the devices per chip show continuous wave (cw) and room temperature lasing with an average 2 - 3mA threshold current dispersion. Switch-on and switch-off times as short as 60 ps and 30 ps were measured, respectively, and reliable 10 Gbit/s flip-flop (FF) operation with external triggering optical pulses was achieved with these devices. Temporal measurements and calculations show that the switching speed of the free running SRL is limited by the carrier lifetime. A monostable device consisting of a SRL and an integrated distributed feedback laser (DFB) source is also presented, and this holding beam (HB) configuration is used to demonstrate all-optical NOT operation with data rates up to 2.5 Gbit/s. Dry etch chemistries for realizing 3.2 - 4.5 um deep waveguides, which show minimal bending losses, are developed and evaluated in order to enable dense integration of SRL devices. In addition, compact, milliwatt output power racetrack shaped cavity designs with radii as small as 10 um are presented. These devices exhibit minimal intra-cavity back-reflections by employing bi-level etching couplers and adiabatic straight to curved waveguide convertors. Finally, these developments provide a more than 150 times footprint reduction compared to large radius devices, whilst also preserving the robust unidirectional operation of their relatives with slightly lower, 20 - 30 dB DER.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: semiconductor lasers, ring lasers, optical bistability, all-optical signal processing,
Subjects: Q Science > QC Physics
Q Science > Q Science (General)
Colleges/Schools: College of Science and Engineering > School of Engineering
Supervisor's Name: Sorel, Dr. Marc
Date of Award: 2011
Depositing User: Dr Gabor Mezosi
Unique ID: glathesis:2011-2349
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 31 Jan 2011
Last Modified: 10 Dec 2012 15:07

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