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Proceedings Paper

Laser annealed in-situ P-doped Ge for on-chip laser source applications (Conference Presentation)
Author(s): Ashwyn Srinivasan; Marianna Pantouvaki; Yosuke Shimura; Clement Porret; Rik Van Deun; Roger Loo; Dries Van Thourhout; Joris Van Campenhout

Paper Abstract

Realization of a monolithically integrated on-chip laser source remains the holy-grail of Silicon Photonics. Germanium (Ge) is a promising semiconductor for lasing applications when highly doped with Phosphorous (P) and or alloyed with Sn [1, 2]. P doping makes Ge a pseudo-direct band gap material and the emitted wavelengths are compatible with fiber-optic communication applications. However, in-situ P doping with Ge2H6 precursor allows a maximum active P concentration of 6×1019 cm-3 [3]. Even with such active P levels, n++ Ge is still an indirect band gap material and could result in very high threshold current densities. In this work, we demonstrate P-doped Ge layers with active n-type doping beyond 1020 cm-3, grown using Ge2H6 and PH3 and subsequently laser annealed, targeting power-efficient on-chip laser sources. The use of Ge2H6 precursors during the growth of P-doped Ge increases the active P concentration level to a record fully activated concentration of 1.3×1020 cm-3 when laser annealed with a fluence of 1.2 J/cm2. The material stack consisted of 200 nm thick P-doped Ge grown on an annealed 1 µm Ge buffer on Si. Ge:P epitaxy was performed with PH3 and Ge2H6 at 320oC. Low temperature growth enable Ge:P epitaxy far from thermodynamic equilibrium, resulting in an enhanced incorporation of P atoms [3]. At such high active P concentration, the n++ Ge layer is expected to be a pseudo-direct band gap material. The photoluminescence (PL) intensities for layers with highest active P concentration show an enhancement of 18× when compared to undoped Ge grown on Si as shown in Fig. 1 and Fig. 2. The layers were optically pumped with a 640 nm laser and an incident intensity of 410 mW/cm2. The PL was measured with a NIR spectrometer with a Hamamatsu R5509-72 NIR photomultiplier tube detector whose detectivity drops at 1620 nm. Due to high active P concentration, we expect band gap narrowing phenomena to push the PL peak to wavelengths beyond the detection limit (1620nm) of the setup. Therefore, the 18× enhancement is a lower limit estimation. In this contribution, an extensive study of laser annealing conditions and their impact on material properties will be discussed. A major concern in using highly doped Ge as an active medium is the increase in free-carrier absorption (FCA). However, results reported in [4] suggest that FCA is significantly dominated by holes due to larger absorption cross-section of holes compared to electrons. The FCA results in [4] and JDOS modeling were used to calculate the gain spectrum for the highest doped Ge samples, including the typical 0.25% biaxial tensile strain of epitaxial Ge on Si. A carrier lifetime of 3 ns is required as shown in Fig. 3 for a target threshold current density of sub-20 kA/cm2 which represents at least tenfold reduction when compared to active P-doping level of 6×1019 cm-3. As a result, laser annealed highly doped Ge layers grown with Ge2H6 precursors are a promising approach for realizing a power efficient on-chip Ge laser source.

Paper Details

Date Published: 27 July 2016
PDF: 1 pages
Proc. SPIE 9891, Silicon Photonics and Photonic Integrated Circuits V, 98911U (27 July 2016);
Show Author Affiliations
Ashwyn Srinivasan, IMEC (Belgium)
Gent Univ. (Belgium)
Marianna Pantouvaki, IMEC (Belgium)
Yosuke Shimura, IMEC (Belgium)
Clement Porret, IMEC (Belgium)
Rik Van Deun, Univ. Gent (Belgium)
Roger Loo, IMEC (Belgium)
Dries Van Thourhout, Univ. Gent (Belgium)
IMEC (Belgium)
Joris Van Campenhout, IMEC (Belgium)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9891:
Silicon Photonics and Photonic Integrated Circuits V
Laurent Vivien; Lorenzo Pavesi; Stefano Pelli, Editor(s)

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