Heterogeneously integrated VCSELs on silicon

Leah Espenhahn, John Carlson, Patrick Su, John Dallesasse

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


A wafer-scale CMOS-compatible process for heterogeneous integration of III-V epitaxial material onto silicon for photonic device fabrication is presented. Transfer of AlGaAs-GaAs Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser (VCSEL) epitaxial material onto silicon using a carrier wafer process and metallic bonding is used to form III-V islands which are subsequently processed into VCSELs. The transfer process begins with the bonding of III-V wafer pieces epitaxy-down on a carrier wafer using a temporary bonding material. Following substrate removal, precisely-located islands of material are formed using photolithography and dry etching. These islands are bonded onto a silicon host wafer using a thin-film non-gold metal bonding process and the transfer wafer is removed. Following the bonding of the epitaxial islands onto the silicon wafer, standard processing methods are used to form VCSELs with non-gold contacts. The removal of the GaAs substrate prior to bonding provides an improved thermal pathway which leads to a reduction in wavelength shift with output power under continuous-wave (CW) excitation. Unlike prior work in which fully-fabricated VCSELs are flip-chip bonded to silicon, all photonic device processing takes place after the epitaxial transfer process. The electrical and optical performance of heterogeneously integrated 850nm GaAs VCSELs on silicon is compared to their as-grown counterparts. The demonstrated method creates the potential for the integration of III-V photonic devices with silicon CMOS, including CMOS imaging arrays. Such devices could have use in applications ranging from 3D imaging to LiDAR.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XXVI
EditorsChun Lei, Kent D. Choquette, Luke A. Graham
ISBN (Electronic)9781510649118
StatePublished - 2022
EventVertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XXVI 2022 - Virtual, Online
Duration: Feb 20 2022Feb 24 2022

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceVertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers XXVI 2022
CityVirtual, Online


  • heterogeneous integration
  • integration
  • silicon photonics
  • VCSELs
  • wafer bonding

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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