• A Hybrid Conference – In-Person and Virtual Presentations
  • Technical Conference:  24 – 28 March 2024
  • Exhibition: 26 – 28 March 2024
  • San Diego Convention Center, San Diego, California, USA

Short Courses

SC177 - High-speed Semiconductor Lasers and Modulators

Sunday, 24 March
09:00 - 12:00 (Pacific Time (US & Canada), UTC - 08:00)

Short Course Level: Intermediate


John Bowers, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA

Short Course Description:

Amplitude and phase modulation of light for transmission at 10, 40 and 100 Gbit/s and beyond are a critical problem for fiber-optic networks. We will review the basic concepts of optical modulators, with emphasis on electroabsorption modulators. The fundamental physics and design of modulators will be reviewed. The microwave characteristics of semiconductor lasers, important for high-speed digital and analog applications, are presented. From the rate equations for electron and photon dynamics in the laser, we derive fundamental limits to laser bandwidth. These limits include resonance limits, damping, transport effects and device parasitics. Methods to increase the bandwidth are illustrated with examples from literature, along with results showing the current state of the art. Finally, analog and large-signal modulation issues important for applications in communication systems are covered, including ringing, chirp, intensity noise and distortion.

Short Course Benefits:

This course should enable you to:

  • Compare different technologies.

  • Make informed decisions on the design of optical transmitters and their incorporation into optical networks.

  • Explain the performance of high-speed transmitters.

Short Course Audience:

Attendees should have some knowledge of semiconductor and device physics. A basic knowledge of laser operation is also needed.

Instructor Biography:

John E. Bowers is Director of the Institute for Energy Efficiency and the Kavli Professor of Nanotechnology in the Departments of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Materials at the University of California at Santa Barbara. He received his master's and doctorate degrees from Stanford University. He previously worked for Bell Labs and Honeywell. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the IEEE, OSA and American Physical Society. He is a recipient of the IEEE/LEOS William Streifer Award, the OSA Holonyak Award, the OSA/IEEE Tyndall Award and the IEEE Photonics award.  He has published two books, eleven book chapters, 800 journal papers, 1000 conference papers and has received 70 patents.