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High-performance lasers for fully integrated silicon nitride photonics.

Abstract

Silicon nitride (SiN) waveguides with ultra-low optical loss enable integrated photonic applications including low noise, narrow linewidth lasers, chip-scale nonlinear photonics, and microwave photonics. Lasers are key components to SiN photonic integrated circuits (PICs), but are difficult to fully integrate with low-index SiN waveguides due to their large mismatch with the high-index III-V gain materials. The recent demonstration of multilayer heterogeneous integration provides a practical solution and enabled the first-generation of lasers fully integrated with SiN waveguides. However, a laser with high device yield and high output power at telecommunication wavelengths, where photonics applications are clustered, is still missing, hindered by large mode transition loss, non-optimized cavity design, and a complicated fabrication process. Here, we report high-performance lasers on SiN with tens of milliwatts output power through the SiN waveguide and sub-kHz fundamental linewidth, addressing all the aforementioned issues. We also show Hertz-level fundamental linewidth lasers are achievable with the developed integration techniques. These lasers, together with high-Q SiN resonators, mark a milestone towards a fully integrated low-noise silicon nitride photonics platform. This laser should find potential applications in LIDAR, microwave photonics and coherent optical communications.

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