Journal article

High-speed Si resonant cavity enhanced photodetectors and arrays

Over the past decade a new family of optoelectronic devices has emerged whose performance is enhanced by placing the active device structure inside a Fabry–Perot resonantmicrocavity [P. E. Green, IEEE Spectrum 13 (2002)]. The increased optical field allows photodetectors to be made thinner and therefore faster, while simultaneously increasing the quantum efficiency at the resonant wavelengths. We have demonstrated a variety of resonant cavity enhanced (RCE) photodetectors in compound semiconductors [B. Yang, J. D. Schaub, S. M. Csutak, D. J. Rogers, and J. C. Campbell, IEEE Photonics Technol. Lett. 15, 745 (2003)] and Si [M. K. Emsley, O. I. Dosunmu, and M. S. Ünlü, IEEE J. Selected Topics Quantum Electron. 8, 948 (2002)], operating at optical communication wavelengths ranging from 850 nm to 1550 nm. The focus of this article is on Si photodetectors and arrays. High bandwidth short distance communications standards are being developed based on parallel optical interconnect fiber arrays to meet the needs of increasing data rates of interchip communication in modern computer architecture. To ensure that this standard becomes an attractive option for computer systems, low cost components must be implemented on both the transmitting and receiving end of the fibers. To meet this low cost requirement silicon based receiver circuits are the most viable option, however, high speed, high efficiency siliconphotodetectors present a technical challenge. Commercially reproducible silicon wafers with a high reflectance buried distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) have been designed and fabricated [M. K. Emsley, O. I. Dosunmu, and M. S. Ünlü, IEEE J. Selected Topics Quantum Electron. 8, 948 (2002)]. The substrates consist of a two-period, 90% reflecting, DBR fabricated using a double silicon-on-insulator (SOI) process. Resonant-cavity-enhanced (RCE) Si photodetectors have been fabricated with 40% quantum efficiency at 850 nm and a FWHM of 29 ps suitable for 10 Gbps data communications. Recently, 1×12 photodetector arrays have been fabricated, packaged, and tested with silicon based amplifiers to demonstrate the feasibility of a low cost solution for optical interconnects.

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