Slow-light-enhanced gain in active photonic crystal waveguides

Sara Ek, Per Lunnemann Hansen, Yaohui Chen, Elizaveta Semenova, Kresten Yvind, Jesper Mørk

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


    Passive photonic crystals have been shown to exhibit a multitude of interesting phenomena, including slow-light propagation in line-defect waveguides. It was suggested that by incorporating an active material in the waveguide, slow light could be used to enhance the effective gain of the material, which would have interesting application prospects, for example enabling ultra-compact optical amplifiers for integration in photonic chips. Here we experi- mentally investigate the gain of a photonic crystal membrane structure with embedded quantum wells. We find that by solely changing the photonic crystal structural parameters, the maximum value of the gain coefficient can be increased compared with a ridge waveguide structure and at the same time the spectral position of the peak gain be controlled. The experimental results are in qualitative agreement with theory and show that gain values similar to those realized in state-of-the-art semiconductor optical amplifiers should be attainable in compact photonic integrated amplifiers
    Original languageEnglish
    Article number5039
    JournalNature Communications
    Number of pages7
    Publication statusPublished - 2014


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