Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a new class of lasers and amplifiers that uses a CMOS-compatible electronics platform - and can also be applied to nano-amplifiers and nano-lasers applications.
Nano-photonic signals are important for signal transfers, but finding ways to generate these signals accurately using moderately-priced equipment is a technical challenge. Materials such as aluminum can produce light on the nanoscale, but are expensive for mass scale production. Silicon is the preferred material for optical waveguides and integrated circuits for this reason. However, techniques to force silicon to generate signals on the nano-scale have not been successful without expensive and complicated methods of fabrication.
Researchers at the University of California, Davis have developed a method of producing an integrated circuit capable of generating nano-photonic signals more cheaply and efficiently than previous techniques. Through micro-transfer printing or wafer bonding, nano-scale layers can bond onto silicon without the typical optical gain. This technique creates a circuit that is compatible with complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) electronics and can produce nano-scale signals from microchip scale electronics. Additionally, the electronics can be made temperature independent by selecting materials for production that possess thermo-optical coefficients that cancel each other.