+44 (0)24 7671 8970
More publications     •     Advertise with us     •     Contact us
News Article

HKUST team develops way to couple III-V and silicon


Novel integration scheme uses selective direct epitaxy

Researchers at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) has developed a novel integration scheme for efficient coupling between III-V compound semiconductor devices and silicon components on silicon photonics (Si-photonics) platform by selective direct epitaxy.

They say their method unlocks the potential of integrating energy-efficient photonics with cost-effective electronics, as well as enabling the next generation telecommunications with low cost, high speed and large capacity.

While silicon-based passive components have been well established on Si-photonics platform, the lasers and photodetectors can’t be realized by silicon and necessitate the integration of other materials such as III-V compound semiconductors on silicon.

III-V lasers and photodetectors on silicon has been investigated by two main methods. The first one is the bonding-based method which has yielded devices with impressive performance. However, it requires complicated manufacturing technique that is low yield and high-cost, making mass production very challenging. The other way is direct epitaxy method by growing multiple layers of III-V on silicon.

While it provides a solution with lower cost, larger scalability and higher integration density, the micrometers thick III-V buffer layers which are crucial for this method hinders efficient light coupling between III-V and silicon - the key for integrated Si-photonics.

To address these issues, the team led by Kei-May LAU, professor emeritus of the Department of Electronic and Computer Engineering at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) developed lateral aspect ratio trapping (LART) - a novel selective direct epitaxy method that can selectively grow III-V materials on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) in a lateral direction without the need of thick buffers.

Furthermore, based on this novel technology, the team devised and demonstrated unique in-plane integration of III-V photodetectors and silicon elements with high coupling efficiency between III-V and silicon.

Compared to the commercial ones, the performance of photodetectors by such approach is less noisy, more sensitive, and has wider operation range, with record-high speed of over 112 Gb/s – way faster than existing products. For the first time, the III-V devices can be efficiently coupled with Si elements by direct epitaxy. The integration strategy can be easily applied to the integration of various III-V devices and Si-based components, thereby enabling the ultimate goal of integrating photonics with electronics on silicon photonics platform for data communications.

“This was made possible by our latest development of a novel growth technique named lateral aspect ratio trapping (LART) and our unique design of coupling strategy on the SOI platform. Our team’s combined expertise and insights into both device physics and growth mechanisms allow us to accomplish the challenging task of efficient coupling between III-V and Si and cross-correlated analysis of epitaxial growth and device performance,” said Prof. Lau.

“This work will provide practical solutions for photonic integrated circuits and fully integrated Si-photonics, light coupling between III-V lasers and Si components can be realized through this method” said Dr. Ying Xue, first author of the study.

This is a collaborative work with a research team led by Prof. Hon Ki Tsang of Department of Electronic Engineering at Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) and a research team led by Xinlun Cai of School of Electronics and Information Technology at Sun Yat-sen University (SYSU).

The device fabrication technology in the work was developed at HKUST’s Nanosystem Fabrication Facility (NFF) on Clear Water Bay campus. The work is supported by Research Grants Council of Hong Kong and Innovation Technology Fund of Hong Kong. This work has recently been published in Optica.

PIC International to return to Brussels – bigger and better than ever!

The leading global integrated photonics conference and exhibition will once again bring together key players from across the value chain for two-days of strategic technical sessions, dynamic talks and unrivalled networking opportunities.

Join us face-to-face on 18-19 April 2023

  • View the agenda.
  • 3 for the price of 1. Register your place and gain complementary access to TWO FURTHER industry leading conferences: CS International and Power Electronics International.
  • Email info@picinternational.net  or call +44 (0)24 7671 8970 for more details.


Picocom and Antevia collaborate on 5G in-building solutions
Fast, narrow-linewidth tunable laser is a first
Luceda Photonics and Spark Photonics announce partnership
Imec demonstrates co-integration of high-quality SiN waveguide technology with silicon photonics platform
Toptica acquires Azurlight Systems
CEA-Leti Will Highlight Progress on Key Augmented Reality Building Blocks
Trumpf Venture invests in quantum startup
Trumpf to show latest lasers at Photonics West 2023
OpenLight appoints Adam Carter as CEO
Dutch consortium invests €3.5M in LioniX
POET releases optical engines for 100G, 200G and 400G
Thorlabs to acquire JML Optical
Vector appoints factory applications engineer
Trumpf expands VCSEL portfolio
Needle-free blood glucose monitoring
Vector Photonics appoints Peter Linton to drive PCSEL design
Closing the 'terahertz gap'
LioniX International Secures €3.5M Investment
Novel laser can transmit 200Gbps over 10km
III-V Lab counts on Riber MBE
US centre to tackle processor energy efficiency
High-performance Visible-light Lasers that Fit on a Fingertip
ANELLO Photonics Announce Silicon Photonics Optical Gyroscope
FBH presents latest light sources at Photonics West 2023
NIST and AIM team up on photonics chips
OpenLight unveils 800G DR8 PIC design to advance datacenter Interconnect industry
Characterisation of VCSELs, µLEDs and AR/VR displays
Vector Photonics fast-tracks PCSEL commercialisation
Changing the color of quantum light on an integrated chip
Jenoptik receives Thuringia Innovation Award 2022 for opto-electronic UFO Probe®Card
Silicon photonics is driven by data center applications
Scantinel lands €10M for next gen LiDAR

Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the PIC Magazine, the PIC Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.

Please subscribe me to:


You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in: