Abstract

Erbium-doped aluminum oxide integrated optical amplifiers were fabricated on silicon substrates, and their characteristics were investigated for Er concentrations ranging from 0.27to4.2×1020cm3. Background losses below 0.3dBcm at 1320nm were measured. For optimum Er concentrations in the range of 1to2×1020cm3, an internal net gain was obtained over a wavelength range of 80nm (15001580nm), and a peak gain of 2.0dBcm was measured at 1533nm. The broadband and high peak gain are attributed to an optimized fabrication process, improved waveguide design, and pumping at 977nm as opposed to 1480nm. In a 5.4-cm-long amplifier, a total internal net gain of up to 9.3dB was measured. By use of a rate-equation model, an internal net gain of 33dB at the 1533nm gain peak and more than 20dB for all wavelengths within the telecom C-band (15251565nm) are predicted for a launched signal power of 1μW when launching 100mW of pump power into a 24-cm-long amplifier. The high optical gain demonstrates that Al2O3:Er3+ is a competitive technology for active integrated optics.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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