Directly Pumped Silicon Lasers

Jeffrey M. Shainline and Jimmy Xu

Over the past two decades, researchers have tried mightily to enhance silicon’s ability to emit light. Yet electrically pumped silicon lasers remain tantalizingly out of reach. These authors describe how the approaches that have been tried so far might be successfully combined.


figureIllustrations by Jeffrey Shainline. SEM image courtesy of The Laboratory for Emerging Technologies.

For many researchers and engineers, the challenge of developing a laser with silicon, a semiconductor that is immensely important in electronics but inherently poor at emitting light, is too delicious to resist. Others are inspired by the prospect of providing silicon-based light sources for on-chip optical signal generation, thereby extending the reach of CMOS technology. Still others are simply fascinated by the myriad manifestations of this one element.

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Publish Date: 01 May 2008

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