Rare-earth doped microlasers for microphotonic applications

Lan Yang, Bumki Min, K. J. Vahala

Research output: Contribution to journalConference articlepeer-review


Sol gels provide a highly flexible technique for preparation of both planar and non-planar oxide thin films. They also enable the incorporation of various dopants into the films. In this work we describe the application of erbium-doped solgel films to surface functionalize optical microresonators. The resulting microlaser devices are especially interesting because their emission band falls in the important 1.5 μm window used for optical fiber communications. Both microsphere and ultra-high-Q microtoroid resonators-on-a-chip were functionalized into lasers and then characterized [1]. The erbium-doped sol-gel films were applied to the resonator surface and subsequently a CO2 laser was used to induce flow and densification of the sol-gel film on the surface. Optical quality thin films were obtained after the CO2 laser induced anneal. By varying the doping concentration and thickness of the applied sol-gel layers in microsphere resonators, we can vary the laser dynamics so that both continuous-wave and pulsation operation are possible. Single mode performance with high differential quantum efficiency was also obtained using the ultra-high-Q microtoroid resonator. These chip-based microlasers enable integration with other optical or electronic functions [2-3].

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)21-25
Number of pages5
JournalMaterials Research Society Symposium Proceedings
StatePublished - 2004
EventNew Materials for Microphotonics - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Apr 13 2004Apr 15 2004


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