UCL lead collaborative research to develop cheaper and better Si-based optoelectronic integrated circuits

The future of low-cost and increased complexity Si chips for next-generation computers and higher-capacity communication systems is closer thanks to funding from the EPSRC for a collaborative research project led by academics from UCL.


UCL's Dr Huiyun Liu and his group have been awarded £652,595 from the EPSRC to develop high-quality III-V quantum-dot (QD) materials and devices on silicon substrate for silicon photonics, in collaboration with Cardiff, Sheffield and Warwick Universities. The grant in total is worth around £1.8 million over 42 months.

Realising efficient electrically-pumped lasers based on Si substrates is the transformative step that enables the unification of III-V based communications technology with Si data processing and memory electronics. The project partners will aim to demonstrate that high performance light emitting devices can be fabricated on Si substrates using an approach based on III-V QDs. This will provide the basis for cheaper and better Si-based optoelectronic integrated circuits, a key enabler for the Digital Economy, and allow potential solutions to be found for the impending Si CMOS interconnect challenges (where the physical length and energy requirements of the connections between electronic elements limits processing performance). UCL will carry out the epitaxial material growth of III-V on silicon substrates by the state-of–the-art Molecular Beam Epitaxy facility at the department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering, and the device fabrication in the London Centre for Nanotechnology.