Electrical engineering researchers have boosted the operating temperature of a promising new semiconductor laser on silicon substrate, moving it one step closer to possible commercial application.
The development of an “optically pumped” laser, made of germanium tin grown on silicon substrates, could lead to faster micro-processing speed of computer chips, sensors, cameras and other electronic devices—at much lower cost.
“In a relatively short time period—roughly two years—we’ve progressed from 110 Kelvin to a record temperature of 270K,” said Shui-Qing “Fisher” Yu, associate professor of electrical engineering. “We are now very close to room-temperature operation and moving quickly toward the application of a material that can significantly increase processing speed with much less power consumption.”
Yu leads a multi-institutional team of researchers on developing a laser injected with light, similar to an injection of electrical current. The improved laser covers a broader wavelength range, from 2 to 3 micrometers, and uses a lower lasing threshold, while capable of operating at 270 Kelvin, which is roughly 26 Farenheit.