In-Plane Bandgap Energy Controlled Selective MOVPE and Its Applications to Photonic Integrated Circuits

Tatsuya SASAKI  Masayuki YAMAGUCHI  Keiro KOMATSU  Ikuo MITO  

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E80-C   No.5   pp.654-663
Publication Date: 1997/05/25
Online ISSN: 
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: INVITED PAPER (Special Issue on Photonic Integrated Circuits)
Category: Semiconductor Devices, Circuits and Processing
photonic integrated circuit,  selective MOVPE,  multiple quantum well,  optical waveguide,  

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Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) are required for future optical communication systems, because various optical components need to be compactly integrated in one-chip configurations with a small number of optical alignment points. Bandgap energy controlled selective metal organic vapor phase epitaxy (MOVPE) is a breakthrough technique for the fabrication of PICs because this technique enables the simultaneous formation of waveguides for various optical components in one-step growth. Directly formed waveguides on a mask-patterned substrate can be obtained without using conventional mesa-etching of the semiconductor layers. The waveguide width is precisely controlled by the mask pattern. Therefore, high device uniformity and yield are expected. Since we proposed and demonstrated this technique in 1991, various PICs have been reported. Using electroabsorption modulator integrated distributed feedback laser diodes, 2.5 Gb/s-550 km transmission experiments have been successfully conducted. Another advantage of the selective MOVPE technique is the capability to form narrow waveguide layers. We have demonstrated a polarization-insensitive semiconductor optical amplifier that consists of a selectively formed narrow (less than 1 µm wide) bulk active layer. For a four-channel array, a chip gain of more than 20 dB and a gain difference between TE and TM inputs of less than 1 dB were obtained. We have also reported an optical switch matrix and an optical transceiver PIC for access optical networks. By using a low-loss optical waveguide, a 0 dB fiber-to-fiber gain for the 14 switch matrix and 0 dBm fiber output power from the 1.3 µm transceiver PIC were obtained. In this paper, the selective MOVPE technique and its applications to various kinds of PICs are discussed.