This work is one of the exciting studies aimed at the integration of III-V semiconductor optical devices onto silicon, to fuse efficient photonic circuits with advanced silicon technology. The progress in high performance silicon-based photonic integration systems is being slowed down by the unavailability of monolithic silicon lasers. In this regard, direct integration of III-V materials onto silicon is of critical importance for the development an efficient on-chip light source. In this Optics Letters article, Wan et al. developed the technology of epitaxial growth of 1.3 μm InAs quantum dot (QD) micro-disk lasers on industrial-compatible silicon substrates, which allows to obtain a continuous-wave lasing at room temperature with thresholds as low as hundreds of microwatts, similarly to those for commercial laser diodes grown on a GaAs substrate. The combination of the epitaxial necking effect with a design of diamond-shaped silicon pockets resulted in the heteroepitaxial structure growth technique, which does not require the use of buffer and/or dislocation filter layers to prevent laser degradation. The proposed InAs QD laser diodes, monolithically grown on silicon, could be viewed as a very promising solution for on-chip lasers, one that satisfies the requirements for low threshold, cost-efficient, large-scale light sources for silicon photonic integration circuits.
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