Photonic Crystal Laser with Ultra-low Power-energy Cost

Technological fields
Cutting-edge Technologies
  • Photonic crystal laser
  • Buried heterostructure
Laboratory organization
NTT Photonincs Laboratories

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Photonic crystal technologies enable us to make ultra-compact cavities with volumes less than 1 m3. A laser with an ultra-low threshold can be made by decreasing the cavity volume. Moreover, a photonic network chip, which is a hybrid integration with silicon CMOS*, must have appropriate output power for detecting the light at the photodetector and a high-speed direct modulation capability with very low power consumption. We have developed ultracompact buried heterostructure photonic crystal laser for such a purpose by employing the technologies of InP-based photonic integrated circuits.


  • World's smallest buried heterostructure (5.0 x 0.3 x 0.15 m3) laser
  • Ultralow threshold power (6.8 W) and high output power (100 W) achieved by optical pumping
  • Extremely low energy consumption of direct modulated laser: 8.76 fJ/bit for 20-Gbit/s direct modulation with clear eye-opening
  • Next step in development: PhC laser using electrical pumping.

Application scenarios

  • High-density photonic integrated circuit
  • Photonic network on chip: high-bandwidth density and reconfigurable photonic network on silicon CMOS
  • CPU: continuous CMOS processor advances supported by energy-efficient optical system
  • Green ICT: power efficient ICT equipment in data centers
  • Other applications: ex. Ultra-small sensors requiring nano-scale light sources
  • * CMOS: Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor