Hybrid Silicon Lasers: The Final Frontier to Integrated Computing

John Bowers, Di Liang, Alexander Fang, Hyundai Park, Richard Jones and Mario Paniccia

Silicon photonics may revolutionize the 21st century by bringing together two technological areas that transformed the 20th—photonics and microelectronics. Here, the team that pioneered optically and electrically pumped silicon lasers describes their groundbreaking work and where this exciting field is headed.


figureA portion of a 150-mm-diameter wafer containing hybrid silicon ring lasers.

The transistor and the laser—two world-changing inventions of the 20th century—were developed in parallel, from concept to lab demonstration. Silicon forms the backbone of the multi-hundred-billion dollar microelectronics industry. The combination of silicon-based transistors and integrated circuits has enabled the computing advances that have ushered in the Information Age in which we now live.

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