(Invited) Photonic Interconnection Made by a Ge/SiGe MQW Modulator Connected to a Ge/SiGe MQW Photodetector through a SiGe Waveguide

Thursday, 9 October 2014: 10:25
Expo Center, 1st Floor, Universal 11 (Moon Palace Resort)
J. Frigerio (Politecnico di Milano), P. Chaisakul (Institut d'Electronique Fondamentale), D. Marris-Morini (University of Paris-Sud), M. S. Rouifed (Institut d'Electronique Fondamentale), S. Cecchi, D. Chrastina, G. Isella (Politecnico di Milano), and L. Vivien (University of Paris-Sud)
In the last years Ge/SiGe multiple quantum wells (MQW) have received a great attention in the context of silicon photonics for the realization of efficient electro-absorption modulators based on the quantum confined stark effect. At present day, one of the main problems to be addressed toward the integration of Ge/SiGe MQW modulators is their coupling with passive optical components such as waveguides. In particular, the integration with silicon waveguides is very difficult due to the presence of a thick SiGe layer which act as a virtual substrate (VS) for the MQW stack. In this work we demonstrate that the VS can be used as a low loss optical waveguide by choosing a suitable compositional mismatch with respect to the MQW stack. A photonic interconnection made by a Ge/SiGe MQW modulator connected to a Ge/SiGe MQW photodetector through a SiGe waveguide has been fabricated and tested in order to demonstrate the great potential of this approach. The whole structure has been deposited on a silicon substrate in a single epitaxial step by low energy plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition. The optical insertion loss of the device is less than 5 dB/cm. 5 and 10 µA are obtained in the photodetector with 1V and 3V voltage swing at the modulator. The photodetector bias is -1V and the dark current is 10 nA. Similar performance can be obtained in a wide spectral range from 1430 nm to 1450 nm. This demonstration confirms that Ge quantum well interconnects are feasible for low-voltage broadband optical links integrated on silicon chips. Our approach can be extended to any kind of Ge-based optoelectronic devices working within telecommunication wavelengths as long as a suitable Ge concentration is selected for the Ge-rich virtual substrate.