We report the first demonstration of gain-switched optical pulses generated by continuous-wave 1.3 μm InAs/GaAs quantum dot (QD) broad-area lasers directly grown on silicon. The shortest observed pulses have typical durations between 175 and 200 ps with peak output powers of up to 66 mW. By varying the drive current pulsewidth and amplitude systematically, we find that the peak optical power is maximized through sufficiently long high-amplitude drive pulses, whereas shorter drive pulses with high amplitudes yield the narrowest achievable pulses. A three-level rate equation travelling-wave model is used for the simulation of our results in order to gain a first insight into the underlying physics and the laser parameters responsible for the observed behavior. The simulations indicate that a limited gain from the InAs QDs and a very high gain compression factor are the main factors contributing to the increased pulsewidth. As the optical spectra of the tested broad-area QD laser give a clear evidence of multitransverse-mode operation, the laser's dynamic response could be additionally limited by transversal variations of the gain, carrier density, and photon density over the 50 μm wide laser waveguide.
- Optical pulses
- photonic integrated circuits
- quantum dot lasers
- semiconductor device modeling
- silicon photonics
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics