Electroabsorption from GeSi on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) is expected to have promising
potential for optical modulation due to its low power consumption, small footprint, and more
importantly, wide spectral bandwidth for wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) applications.
Germanium, as a bulk crystal, has a sharp absorption edge with a strong coefficient at the direct
band gap close to the C-band wavelength. Unfortunately, when integrated onto Silicon, or when
alloyed with dilute Si for blueshifting to the C-band operation, this strong Franz-Keldysh (FK)
effect in bulk Ge is expected to degrade. Here, we report experimental results for GeSi epi when
grown under a variety of conditions such as different Si alloy content, under selective versus non
selective growth modes for both Silicon and SOI substrates. We compare the measured FK effect
to the bulk Ge material.
Reduced pressure CVD growth of GeSi heteroepitaxy with various Si content was studied
by different characterization tools: X-ray diffraction (XRD), atomic force microscopy (AFM),
secondary ion mass spectrometry (SIMS), Hall measurement and optical transmission/absorption
to analyze performance for 1550 nm operation. State-of-the-art GeSi epi with low defect density
and low root-mean-square (RMS) roughness were fabricated into pin diodes and tested in a
surface-normal geometry. They exhibit low dark current density of 5 mA/cm2 at 1V reverse bias
with breakdown voltages of 45 Volts. Strong electroabsorption was observed in our GeSi alloy
with 0.6% Si content having maximum absorption contrast of Δα/α ~5 at 1580 nm at 75 kV/cm.