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A photonic integrated circuit based erbium-doped amplifier

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posted on 2023-01-12, 15:25 authored by Yang Liu, Zheru Qiu, Xinru Ji, Jijun He, Johann Riemensberger, Martin Hafermann, Rui Ning Wang, Junqiu Liu, Carsten Ronning, Tobias J. Kippenberg
Erbium-doped fiber amplifiers have revolutionized long-haul optical communications and laser technology. Erbium ions could equally provide a basis for efficient optical amplification in photonic integrated circuits. However, this approach has thus far remained impractical due to insufficient output power. Here, we demonstrate a photonic integrated circuit based erbium amplifier reaching 145 mW output power and more than 30 dB small-signal gain -- on par with commercial fiber amplifiers and beyond state-of-the-art III-V heterogeneously integrated semiconductor amplifiers. We achieve this by applying ion implantation to recently emerged ultralow-loss Si3N4 photonic integrated circuits with meter-scale-length waveguides. We utilize the device to increase by 100-fold the output power of soliton microcombs, required for low-noise photonic microwave generation or as a source for wavelength-division multiplexed optical communications. Endowing Si3N4 photonic integrated circuits with gain enables the miniaturization of a wide range of fiber-based devices such as high-pulse-energy femtosecond mode-locked lasers.



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