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Extreme electronic bandgap modification in laser-crystallized silicon optical fibres

DOI: 10.1038/nmat4098 DOI Help

Authors: Noel Healy (University of Southampton, U.K.) , Sakellaris Mailis (University of Southampton, U.K.) , Nadezhda M. Bulgakova (Institute of Thermophysics, Russia) , Pier J. A. Sazio (University of Reading, U.K.) , Todd D. Day (Pennsylvania State University, USA.) , Justin R. Sparks (Pennsylvania State University, USA.) , Hiu Y. Cheng (Pennsylvania State University, USA.) , John V. Badding (Pennsylvania State University, USA.) , Anna Peacock (University of Southampton)
Co-authored by industrial partner: No

Type: Journal Paper
Journal: Nature Materials , VOL 13 (12) , PAGES 1122–1127

State: Published (Approved)
Published: September 2014
Diamond Proposal Number(s): 8211

Abstract: For decades now, ​silicon has been the workhorse of the microelectronics revolution and a key enabler of the information age. Owing to its excellent optical properties in the near- and mid-infrared, silicon is now promising to have a similar impact on photonics. The ability to incorporate both optical and electronic functionality in a single material offers the tantalizing prospect of amplifying, modulating and detecting light within a monolithic platform. However, a direct consequence of silicon’s transparency is that it cannot be used to detect light at telecommunications wavelengths. Here, we report on a laser processing technique developed for our silicon fibre technology through which we can modify the electronic band structure of the semiconductor material as it is crystallized. The unique fibre geometry in which the silicon core is confined within a silica cladding allows large anisotropic stresses to be set into the crystalline material so that the size of the bandgap can be engineered. We demonstrate extreme bandgap reductions from 1.11 eV down to 0.59 eV, enabling optical detection out to 2,100 nm.

Subject Areas: Materials, Physics, Information and Communication Technology


Instruments: I18-Microfocus Spectroscopy

Added On: 10/11/2014 10:02

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