Understanding the bandwidth limitations in monolithic 1.3 μm InAs/GaAs quantum dot lasers on silicon

Constanze Hantschmann, Peter P. Vasil'Ev, Adrian Wonfor, Siming Chen, Mengya Liao, Alwyn J. Seeds, Huiyun Liu, Richard V. Penty, Ian H. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (SciVal)


In this paper, we present measurements and simulations of the small-signal modulation response of monolithic continuous-wave 1.3 μm InAs/GaAs quantum dot (QD) narrow ridge-waveguide lasers on a silicon substrate. The 2.5 mm-long lasers investigated demonstrate 3 dB modulation bandwidths of 1.6 GHz, D-factors of 0.3 GHz/mA 1/2 , modulation current efficiencies of 0.4 GHz/mA 1/2 , and K-factors of 2.4 ns and 3.7 ns. Since the devices under test are not designed for high-speed operation due to their long length and hence long photon lifetime, the modulation response curves are used as a fitting template for numerical simulations with spatiotemporal resolution to gain insight into the underlying laser physics. The obtained parameter set is used to unveil the true potential of the laser material in an optimized device geometry by modeling the small-signal response at different cavity lengths, mirror reflectivities, and for different numbers of QD layers. The simulations predict a maximum 3 dB modulation bandwidth of 5 GHz to 7 GHz for a 0.75 mm-long cavity with 99% and 60% high-reflection coatings and ten QD layers. Modeling the impact of dislocations on the dynamic performance qualitatively reveals that enhanced non-radiative recombination in the wetting layer leaves the modulation bandwidth of QD lasers on silicon almost unaffected, while dislocation-induced optical loss does not pose a problem, as long as sufficient gain is provided by the QD active region.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8552390
Pages (from-to)949-955
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Lightwave Technology
Issue number3
Early online date29 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2019


  • Integrated optics
  • modulation
  • quantum dot lasers
  • semiconductor device modeling
  • silicon devices

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics


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