Long sought-after, and previously thought impossible — a McMaster University PhD student in Hamilton Canada demonstrates a cost-effective and simple laser in silicon.
This could have dramatic consequences for the SiP (Silicon Photonics) — a hot topic for those working in the field of integrated optics. Integrated optics is a critical technology involved in advanced telecommunications networks, and showing increasing importance in quantum research and devices, such as QKD (Quantum Key Distribution) and in various entanglement type experiments (involved in Quantum Compute).
“This is the holy grail of photonics,” says Jonathan Bradley, an assistant professor in the Department of Engineering Physics (and the student’s co-supervisor) in an announcement from McMaster University. “Fabricating a laser on silicon has been a longstanding challenge.” Bradley notes that Miarabbas Kiani’s achievement is remarkable not only for demonstrating a working laser on a silicon chip, but also for doing so in a simple, cost-effective way that’s compatible with existing global manufacturing facilities. This compatibility is essential, as it allows for volume manufacturing at low cost. “If it costs too much, you can’t mass produce it,” says Bradley.