On-Chip Devices based on III-V Semiconductors

Modern communication systems rely on electronic signal processing that has fundamental limitations associated with the bandwidth responsible for information transfer capacity and switching speed, meaning the speed of computations. The introduction of emerging technologies, including autonomous vehicles and Smart Cities, will pose a greatly increased demand on communication networks. The current needs and future challenges faced by industries that depend heavily on information and communication technologies can be addressed through an all-optical signal processing approach with integrated photonic circuits.

All-optical signal processing operations rely predominantly on all-optical wavelength conversion, which can be implemented with nonlinear optical effects to modify the spectrum of optical signals. The most significant of these effects for wavelength conversion, four-wave mixing (FWM), entails the nonlinear optical interaction of two or more spectral components (light frequencies) within a nonlinear optical medium, which produces a new frequency component as an outcome of this interaction.

Besides all-optical signal processing, nonlinear optical interactions have a large number of other applications. To name a few, nonlinear spectroscopy, medical diagnostics, sensing, tamper-proof communications would largely benefit from nonlinear optics.

Efficient nonlinear optical material platforms with a high natural nonlinear optical response is a crucial factor in addressing the needs of these applications. Moreover, different applications require different spectral windows of operation, which can be addressed with a single family of materials: III-V semiconductors formed of chemical elements from columns III and V of the periodic table. The materials within this family have different wavelength ranges of operation, and together, they can cover the entire spectral window between ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR).

We develop integrated photonic devices based on AlGaAs, InGaAsP, GaN as well as other III-V semiconductors and III-nitrides.