Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Microelectronics-Photonics (PhD)

Degree Level



Graduate School


Shui-Qing Yu

Committee Member

Gregory J. Salamo

Second Committee Member

Simon Ang

Third Committee Member

Hameed A. Naseem

Fourth Committee Member

Rick Wise


GeSn, Lasers, Optoelectronics, Photonics, Semiconductor


Silicon-based materials and optoelectronic devices are of great interest as they could be monolithically integrated in the current Si complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) processes. The integration of optoelectronic components on the CMOS platform has long been limited due to the unavailability of Si-based laser sources. A Si-based monolithic laser is highly desirable for full integration of Si photonics chip. In this work, Si-based germanium-tin (GeSn) lasers have been demonstrated as direct bandgap group-IV laser sources. This opens a completely new avenue from the traditional III-V integration approach. In this work, the material and optical properties of GeSn alloys were comprehensively studied. The GeSn films were grown on Ge-buffered Si substrates in a reduced pressure chemical vapor deposition system with low-cost SnCl4 and GeH4 precursors. A systematic study was done for thin GeSn films (thickness < 200 nm) with Sn compositions from 0 to 12%, and for thick GeSn films (thickness > 400 nm) with Sn composition 5 to 17.5%. The room temperature photoluminescence (PL) spectra were measured that showed a gradual shift of emission peaks towards longer wavelength as Sn composition increases. Strong PL intensity and low defect density indicated high material quality. Moreover, the PL study of n-doped samples showed bandgap narrowing compared to the unintentionally p-doped (boron) thin films with similar Sn compositions. Finally, optically pumped GeSn lasers on Si with broad wavelength coverage from 2 to 3 μm were demonstrated using high-quality GeSn films with Sn compositions up to 17.5%. The achieved maximum Sn composition of 17.5% broke the acknowledged Sn incorporation limit using similar deposition chemistry. The highest lasing temperature was measured at 180 K with an active layer thickness as thin as 270 nm. The unprecedented lasing performance is due to the achievement of high material quality and a robust fabrication process. The results reported in this work show a major advancement towards Si-based electrically pumped mid-infrared laser sources for integrated photonics.