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An ultrafast photonic crystal cavity single-mode light-emitting diode

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Stanford researchers have developed a directly modulated photonic crystal light-emitting diode (LED) with 10 GHz modulation speed and less than 1 fJ per bit energy of operation which is orders of magnitude lower than previous solutions. The device operates at room temperature and is able to attain ultralow power consumption and ultrafast direct modulation by taking advantage of engineered material properties of embedded quantum dot emitters and efficient electrical injection into a photonic crystal nanocavity. This technique can be applied to any number of photonic crystal semiconductor materials employing various active media including quantum wells nanocrystals and dopant ions. The demonstrated device is a major step forward in providing practical low-power and integratable sources for on-chip photonics. Stage of Research: 1) Prototype developed and tested 2) First demonstration of a room temperature single-mode LED of any kind 3) World record demonstration for lowest power consumed for any optical data transmitter LED or laser based (only 0.25 fJ/bit) and fastest modulation speed (10 GHz) which is competitive with contemporary technologies using lasers. 4) Continued research to optimize device performance by comparing the tradeoff between speed and power output efficiency. 5) Developing an electrically driven device operating at room temperature in an indium phosphide quantum well platform. Applications: 1) Electrically driven sources for optical interconnects 2) Fast sources for long-haul fiber-optic communications 3) Enables next generation optical interconnect systems


1) Compact 2) Single mode LED 3) Operates at room temperature 4) Ultra low power and ultra fast: World record demonstration of low power and high speed optical data transmission by orders of magnitude. 5) Practical usage: Can be integrated with modern systems since it operates at room temperature and is electrically driven.

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