Researchers have developed an all-optical pumping chip based on nanolaser technology that can help with the ever-growing need to move data faster.
A new all-optical method for driving highly dense nanolaser arrays has been developed by Korean researchers. This method enables chip-based optical communication links that process and move data faster than current electronic-based devices. Researchers have shown that densely integrated nanolaser arrays – where the lasers are only 18 microns apart – can be fully driven and programmed by light from an optical fiber.
“Optical devices integrated on a chip are a good alternative to electronic integrated devices, which struggle to keep up with today’s data processing needs,” said research team leader Myung-Ki Kim from Korea University. . “By eliminating the large and complex electrodes typically used to drive laser arrays, we reduce the overall dimensions of the laser array while also eliminating heat generation and processing delays with laser-based drivers. on the electrode.”
New nanolasers can be used in optical integrated circuit systems, which can sense, generate, transmit, and process information on a microchip through light. Instead of the fine copper wires used in electronic chips, optical circuits use optical waveguides, which allow for much higher bandwidths while generating less heat. However, since the size of optical integrated circuits quickly reaches the nanometer regime, there is a need for new ways to drive and control their nano-sized light sources efficiently.
The researchers used electrodes with a unique optical driver that creates programmable patterns of light through interference. This pump light passes through an optical fiber where the nanolasers are printed. To demonstrate this approach, the researchers used a high-resolution transfer printing technique to create multiple photonic crystal nanolasers with a spacing of 18 microns. These arrays are applied to the surface of a 2-micron-diameter optical microfiber. The interference pattern can also be changed by adjusting the polarization of the driving beam and pulse width.
Experiments have shown that the design allows multiple nanolaser arrays to be driven using light traveling along a single fiber. The results match well with the numerical calculations and show that the printed nanolaser arrays can be fully controlled by the pump beam interference patterns.
Reference : “Three-dimensional programming of nanolaser arrays through a single optical microfiber” by Myung-Ki Kim, Aran Yu, Da In Song, Polnop Samutpraphoot, Jungmin Lee, Moohyuk Kim, Byoung Jun Park, and Alp Sipahigil, 15 December 2022, OPTICAL.