Silicon-erbium ytterbium silicate nanowire waveguides with optimized optical gain
Xiao-Xia Wang, Wei-Hao Zheng, Qing-Lin Zhang, Xiao-Li Zhu, Hong Zhou, Xiu-Juan Zhuang, An-Lian Pan, Xiang-Feng Duan
Front. Phys. 12, 127801 (2017)
Single-crystal erbium silicate nanowires have attracted considerable attention because of their high optical gain. In this work, we report the controlled synthesis of silicon-erbium ytterbium silicate core-shell nanowires and fine-tuning the erbium mole fraction in the shell from x = 0:3 to x = 1:0, which corresponds to changing the erbium concentration from 4:8 × 1021 to 1:6 × 1022 cm-3. By controlling and properly optimizing the composition of erbium and ytterbium in the nanowires, we can effectively suppress upconversion photoluminescence while simultaneously enhancing near-infrared emission. The composition-optimized nanowires have very long photoluminescence lifetimes and large emission cross-sections, which contribute to the high optical gain that we observed. We suspended these concentration-optimized nanowires in the air to measure and analyze their propagation loss and optical gain in the near-infrared communication band. Through systematic measurements using wires with different core sizes, we obtained a maximum net gain of 20±8 dB·mm-1, which occurs at a wavelength of 1534 nm, for a nanowire with a diameter of 600 nm and a silicon core diameter of 300 nm.