Gain bandwidth of 80 nm and 2 dB/cm peak gain in Al2O3:Er3+ optical amplifiers on silicon

J. Bradley, L. Agazzi, D. Geskus, F. Ay, Kerstin Worhoff, Markus Pollnau

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    Erbium-doped aluminum oxide integrated optical amplifiers were fabricated on silicon substrates, and their characteristics were investigated for Er concentrations ranging from 0.27 to 4.2x10e20 cm−3. Background losses below 0.3 dB/cm at 1320 nm were measured. For optimum Er concentrations in the range of 1 to 2 x10e20 cm−3, an internal net gain was obtained over a wavelength range of 80 nm (1500–1580 nm), and a peak gain of 2.0 dB/cm was measured at 1533 nm. The broadband and high peak gain are attributed to an optimized fabrication process, improved waveguide design, and pumping at 977 nm as opposed to 1480 nm. In a 5.4-cm-long amplifier, a total internal net gain of up to 9.3 dB was measured. By use of a rate-equation model, an internal net gain of 33 dB at the 1533 nm gain peak and more than 20 dB for all wavelengths within the telecom C-band (1525–1565 nm) are predicted for a launched signal power of 1 uW when launching 100 mW of pump power into a 24-cm-long amplifier. The high optical gain demonstrates that Al2O3:Er3+ is a competitive technology for active integrated optics.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)187-196
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of the Optical Society of America. B: Optical physics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2010


    • EC Grant Agreement nr.: FP6/017501
    • EWI-17537
    • IR-70073
    • METIS-276014
    • IOMS-APD: Active Photonic Devices


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