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Abstract-We have successfully demonstrated a new type of logic cir cuit which provides an optical output pulse that is the AND function of two wavelength multiplexed opticalinputsignals. The active components of this optically coupled logic gate are a triggerable semiconductor laser and a novelphotodetector consisting of twoseries photodiodes which are sensitive in different wavelength bands.



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POSSIBLE technique for the realization of high-speed logic and memory circuits is the use of optical coupling between logic gates. Optical coupling offers the potentialadvantage of very low gate propagation delays because gate interconnect capacitance, the principal limitation on the speed of conventional circuits, can be eliminated. Initial work in this area has relied on the creationof a nonlinear interaction between two lasers. The approaches which have been used include: 1) the bistable polarization of a dye laser in a birefringent cavity [ I ] , 2) the quenching of one semiconductor laser with another laser [2], [3], 3 ) the interaction of two laser beams in a saturable absorber [4], 4) optical excitation of intracavity saturable absorbers in a semiconductor laser [ 3 ] ,and 5) the coupling of two parallel pyroelectric photodetectors to a bulk electrooptic modulator [ 5 ] . More recently, Taylor [6] has proposed that optical logic circuits could be fabricated by interconnecting integrated optical devices such as interferometric modulators and directional coupler switches. In this paper we report on a new type of optical logic gate which utilizes two high-speed electrooptic devices, a dual p-i-n photodetector [7] and a triggerable semiconductor laser. Fig. 1 shows a circuit diagram of an AND gate for which both the inputs and the output are in the form of optical pulses. There are three active components: two p-i-n photodiodes and a triggerable semiconductor laser (TSL). A characteristic of TSL’s is that for a particular bias current, the light output increases abruptly (almost discontinuously) [9], [lo]. It has been shown that appreciable gain can be achieved by biasing the TSL just below this point and triggering the laser with a small additional current pulse [lo]. After triggering, light is emitted in short (<lo0 ps), intense (>lo0 mW) pulses with a period of a few nanoseconds. The two series-connected photodiodes in Fig.1 constitute an AND gate in the sense that their electrical output is the AND function of the optical inputs. If light is incidenton both photodiodes simultaneously (i.e., logical 1’s at both inputs), and if the TSL is biased near its







Fig. 1. Circuitdiagram of an opticallycoupled AND gate.Theactive components of thiscircuitare two discrete photodiodes connected i n series and a triggerable semiconductor laser.

Manuscript received December 21, 1981. Theauthorsare with Crawford Hill Laboratory,BellLaboratories, Holmdel, NJ 07733.

trigger point, the photocurrent will be sufficient to trigger the laser. As long as the duration of the current pulse from the photodiodes is less than the pulsation period of the TSL, the gate output will be a single optical pulse. However, if one of the input signalsismissing(i.e., a logical 0 at one or both inputs), the “off” diode(s) will act as a blocking element and will prevent the laser from triggering. Thus, in this circuit, the series photodiode combination performs the logic and the TSL provides gain pulse compression and the conversion ofthe signal back to an optical format. Fig. 2 shows a schematic cross section of an AND gate photodetector which integrates the two photodiodes in Fig. 1 onto a single chip. Thetwophotodiodes in this structure are sensitive in different wavelength bands, thuspermitting the use of wavelength multiplexed inputs instead of two spacially separated beams. This approach permits the reduction of the device area as wellas the minimization of the interconnect capacitance. Thestructure consists of five epitaxial layers grown by LPE on a (100) oriented InP substrate. The first layer grown is an n-type InP buffer layer. This is followed in succession by an n-: Ino.7oGa0.30AS0.66P0.34 quaternary layer (Eg N- 0.92 eV), a p+:InP layer, an n”: Id’ layer, and an n-: Ino.47Gao.53As ternary(T) layer (Eg-0.75 ev). During crystal growth some Zn diffuses from the p+:JnP layer creating a p-n junction in the Q layer. After crystal growth, a second p-n junction about 3 pm deep is formed in the Tlayer by Zn diffusion (-2 h at 500’C) in a closed ampoule. Contacts are fabricated by pulse electroplating Au-Zn to the Zn-diffused T region, Au-Sn to the substrate and then alloying at 425OC. Individual mesas (approximately 75 pm in diameter) are etched in a dilute solution of bromine-methanol. Prior to mounting


0018-9197/82/0600-0992$00.75 0 1982 IEEE

The short wavelength cutoff of the Q layer is due to absorption in the InP substrateand the long wavelength cutoff of both curves corresponds to the bandgap energies of the Q and T layers. this figure also reveals two sources of the trigger noise characteristic of this type of detector. At that point. 2. provides an output only when both optical inputs are “on” simultaneously. 6 . which is seen as a small residual signal when one of the input signals is off. respectively. In a properly designed structure the wavelengths of the emitters should be well to each side of the region where the responsitivity curves cross. on theotherhand.26 pm). for the long wavelength emitter which. 3. To illustrate the blocking action of the “off” diode. The middle trace is the drive current 0 .30AS0. This is . In addition to confirming that the electrical output of this device is the AND function of the optical inputs.34 (dark solid line) and ternary Ino. 9 1 . In Fig. however. the devices on headers.: OPTICAL AND GATE DUAL. the AND gate photodetector described in this paper differs from the demultiplexing photodetector both structurally and functionally.47Gao. crosstalk. The results are shown in Fig. 1 . ) Thiswill result in an increase in the potential drop across the “off” diode and a corresponding decrease in the bias across the “on” diode. The upper trace is the drive current for the short wavelength source. 4. a window is etched in the back contact to permit illumination through the InP substrate.7oGa0.:InP layer. photodiodes on.Todeterminethe magnitude of this component.CAMPBELL et 01. This process will continue until the “ 0 d 7 diode is sufficiently forward biased to generate a current equal to and opposite to the photocurrent. is 15 dB below the signal level.) The AND gate photodetector. respectively.66P0. The two primary differences in thestructures are that the AND gate photodetector uses an n-type substrate instead of p-type and has a p :InP layer and a thick (>3 pm) n+ :InP layer separating the Q and T layers in place of a thin. 4 1 1 . the photogeneratedcurrent in thatphotodiode will exceed its reverse saturation current. namely. Wavelength discrimination is achieved in a similar manner as the dual wavelength demultiplexing photodetector [ 121 . which occur whenever one of the inputs changes states. These devices have been tested by using a beam splitter to combinethe light from twodifferent wavelength emitters. [ 131 .03 pm) and long ( h 1.03 pm. respectively. we consider the case where initially both photodiodes are “off” and suddenly one diode receives an input pulse. The lower trace is the outputcurrent of the AND photodetector. 7 8 WAVELENGTH l p m ) Fig. The wavelength at which this crossover occurs can be adjusted to minimize the optical crosstalk by changing the crystal composition of the Q layer. Spectralresponses of the quaternary Ino. is a 1. the net current through the device will be zero and the potentials across the “off” diode and “on” diode will be approximately the bias voltage and the open circuit voltage. an LED which has an emission peak at 1. To compensate there will be a flow of charge from theother ( “ ~ f f ’ ~ diode. This is accomplished using a parallel configuration which requires three terminals. 5 1 . but 1.3 pm) wavelength sources. a third terminal was added to a few devices so that the spectral response of each photodiode could be measured separately.53As (light solid line) photodiodes which comprisethe AND gate photodetector. In our better devices we find that the total crosstalk.3 pm source. Experimental operation of the AND gate photodetector. 4 thedarkandlight curves are the responsivities of the Q and T. and transient spikes. 0 1. lightly doped n. Fig. . in this figure.WAVELENGTH “AND” GATE 993 TIME (5pr/div) . The upper trace and middle traces are the drive currents for the short ( h 2 1. 4 we observe that the T layer exhibits some response at short wavelengths (X < 1.55 pm sources have also been used. 8 0 . 3. 2 3 1 . The function of the demultiplexing photodetector is to separate signals in two different wavelength bands. When the input signal turns one of the. Initially. which can be both optical and electrical in origin. The lower trace is thedetector output. owing to the fact that the photodiodes are connected in series. .1 1 1 . Optical crosstalk occurs when light from the inputs is absorbed in the “wrong” layer. is atwo terminal device which. The shape of the two responsitivity curves should be symmetrical at about the crossover point. (We note here that an optical OR gate could be fabricated by coupling the demultiplexing photodiode to a triggerable laser. but in Fig. Schematic cross section of the AND gate photodetector. ) SHORT X INPUT A L~NG x INPUT f3 Fig. the bias voltage is divided equally between the Q and T photodiodes.

We thank F. QE-18. If sufficiently high speeds can be achieved. there willbe a current pulse while charge stored on the photodiodes reaches a new steady state distribution. 6 . The first is the leakage current of an “off” diode. we have fabricated and characterized a novel photodetector consisting of two series photodiodes which are l I I l 1 1 1 1 1 1 l / . The top trace shows that during the 20 ns that both optical input pulses are “on” simultaneously’ the laser emits light in a series of short pulses. and load resistances. C . I .” this combination of photodiodes and a triggerable laser provides an optical output which is the AND function of twowavelength multiplexed optical inputs.As triggerable laser. Sessa for capable technical assistance and M. 5 . A transient pulse and a superimposed s i p d pulse are shown in the photograph in Fig. The lower leakage current of the Q diode may also be due in part to the difference in the way the junctions are fabricated. integrated devices of this type could become the building blocks of optically coupled logic circuits. We find that the AND gate photodetector can achieve this level of discrimination with as little as 5 pJ of input energy. namely. the absorptiqn of lmg. and W. The fall time. Ferguson. sensitive in different wavelength bands. E.-. The reverse leakage current density of the T and Q diodes are plotted in Fig. G. The other possible cause for optical crosstalk. 1 by coupling the amplified output of the AND gate photodetector described above to a protonbombarded GaAs-Al. NO. A transient noise pulse (smaller pulse) and a superimposed signal pulse (larger pulse). Leakage current density of the quaternary and ternary photodiodes. if the presence of a light pulse is equated to a logic “1” and its absence to a logic “0. J. For atriggerable laser to successfully discriminate between these two pulses. J. J. series. 6 .Ga. J. . We have successfully demonstrated the AND gate proposed in Fig. 6. the middle and lower traces show that if either of the optical inputs is “off” the laser is not triggered. 5 . this mechanism will set a lower limit on the crosstalk. 1 1 1 l I l I I I I I I I I -5 -10 . Fig. Since there is always a certain amount of leakage current in a reverse biased photodiode. Some difference is expected due to the lower bandgap energy of the T layer and to variations in the background doping levels but these two factqrs alone do not seem to be sufficient to explain the difference observed here. we have demonstrated a gate having an optical output which is the logical AND function of two optical input signals.994 IEEE JOURNAL OF QUANTUM ELECTRONICS. C where V. Our experience with demultiplexing photodetectors has shown that this source of crosstalk can be eliminated by making the Q layer thicker. the charge in thetransient current pulse will be V . Favire. However. by growing the p:InP and n’: InP separation layers sufficiently thick. Transient pulses represent a more serious source of trigger noise than crosstalk. JUNE 1982 due to incomplete absorption in the Q layer. Fig. The rise time of the AND gate photodetector is approximately 3 ns. F. VOL. on the other hand. ACKNOWLEDGMENT We are grateful to S . By contrast.15 -20 -25 REVERSE B I A S ( V ! -30 Fig. Electrical crosstalk can also occur if the reverse biased Q and T diodes are not adequately isolated from minority carriers injected by the forward-biased junction separating them. In conclusion. We observe that the leakage current of the Q diode is much less than that of the T diode. Miller for helpful discussions. Improvements in both the rise time and fall time should be achievable by further optimization of the device parameters such as layer thicknesses and doping levels. Hence. Dixon for supplying the triggerable laser.wavelength photons in the Q layer. appears to be insignificant in these devices. Centanni. Whenever there is a change in the state of one of the optical inputs. By coupling this photodetector to a triggerable semiconductor laser. we have successfully eliminated this source of electrical crosstalk. We observe fall times of -12 ns. is the bias voltage and Cis the diode capacitance. is RC limited with R being the sum hf the dynamic. In our present devices the rise time is diffusion limited because the absorbing layers are not completely depleted. B. 7 shows the output of the laser fordifferentinputstates. In the worst case. Qua. the height of the signal pulse should be about three times that of the transient. 1 1 1 / . There are two mechanisms for electrical crosstalk.

Dentai. “Pulse electropolating of high-resistance materials. Hungary. Nikitin. F. The top trace shows that the laser is triggered and emits light in a series of short pulses when both optical inputs are “on. Burrus. in 1942. degrees in ceramic science from Rutgers University. May 15. A. 51. Fowler. He has also contributed to the field of magnetic-bubble domains and participated in the design of the MAC8 microprocessor. J. E. Phys. Aug. A.” Appl. in 1969.” Appl. A. 39. “Triggerable semiconductor lasers. J.C. June 1980. Appl. Phys. Hewas Editor of the IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ELECTRON DEVICES from 1971 to 1973. Copeland. Urbana-Champaign. Johnson. QE-16. NJ. Phys. vol. where he has been involved in the evaluation of optical fiber parameters and the design of electronic circuitry foroptical fiber communication systems. Phys. Campbell. J. pp. Jan. 8. 652655. May 1971. Lett. Since joining Bell Laboratories in 1965. J. and H. He is currently Head of the Repeater Research Department. 1947. Opt. Mar. Dentai.. 388-390. 219239. New Brunswick.” IEEE Spectrum. and A. Lett.vol. QE-16. Abbott. Copeland is a member of the American Physical Society. S. 1965. Res. and Ph. 1978.. Apr. Dr. 12. Currently he is involved with epitaxial crystal growth of 111-V semiconductors for the preparation of a variety of electroluminescent devices and photodetectors covering the wavelength range of 0. Reimann and W. in 1973 and 1974.” IEEE J. vol. His recent work is on semiconductor lightwave systems and optically coupled logic.S. Austin. Usp. A building block for monolithic optically-coupled circuits. from 1958 to 1965. Burrus.1979. C. Quantum Electron. G. 26. Lett. In 1970 he received the IEEE Morris N. A. T. Hereceived the Dipl. pp. 15. and extremely small areas. Sept. 1919-1921. vol. P. Joe C. Copeland. NJ. 1974. G. Paoli. . vol. and C. Bell Laboratories. pp. Lett. pp.and W. vol. J. Lee.V.D. Holden (”60) was born in Kingston.. A. Phys.” Appl. “Saturable absorption effects in the self-pulsing (A1Ga)As junction laser. Holmdel. A. and Ph. pp.” J. in 1966. on high punty alumina materials. Inc. Copeland (M’67-SM’76) attended Georgia Institute of Technology.. [21 [3] [4] [5] [6] [7] [SI [9] [lo] [ 111 [12] [13] “Completely optical coincidence logic employing a dye laser. pp. respectively. J. and the Optical Society of America. “All-optical computer techniques.Phys. 34. 471-475. pp. 15. Kosonocky.vol. Veszprem.1981. Hungary. Apr. Since 1976 he has been at the Crawford Hill Laboratory. Campbell. N. J. Holmdel. 188.. Electrochem.: OPTICAL AND GATE 995 Fig.. S. Campbell. NJ. A. May. Samuelson. In 1970 he joined Bell Laboratories. 1975. Lett.” Sov.” REFERENCES [ l ] E. receiving the B. Phys. G . vol. NJ. He graduated from RCA Institute in 1970.D. “Mutually quenched injectionlasers as bistable devices. 1980.. Basov. Holden. in 1971 and 1973. 1. degrees in physics. G. “Dynamics of semiconductor injection lasers. Riseberg. B. NJ. Dentai (”76) was born in Budapest. A.. Dr.Engineer of Chemistry degree from the University of Chemistry. Lght output of a triggerable laser which has been coupled to the AND gate photodetector. John A. vol. where he has worked on electrooptic devices for fiber optics applications. and the M.81. S . application of freeze-drying techniques to the preparation of ceramic raw materials. A.. Bell Laboratories. 1964. A. pp. “Wavelength-multiplexed AND gate. and S . “Triggerable semiconductor lasers and lightcoupled logic. From 1974 to 1976 he was employed by Texas Instruments. “Optical gating and logic with pyroelectriccrystals. 7.S. and the M.”Appl. vol.S. “Improved two-wavelength demultiplexing InGaAsP photodetector. 1969.” IEEEJ. 833-834. poorly contacted devices. L. “Guided wave electro-optic devices for logic and computation. Taylor.the American PhysicalSociety. 1947. NJ. M. as a member of the Guided Wave Research Laboratory. Andrew G. vol. Holmdel. 401-402.D. 1979. 24. 34. M S . pp. . 81-82.CAMPBELL et al. Negran. QuantumElectron. pp.. Lempicki. 181-183. vol. He is presently engaged in the processingand evaluation ofemitters and detectors used in fiber optical communications systems. pp. pp.” J. In 1974 he rejoined Bell Laboratories. 444-447. J.” The two lower traces show the laser output for first one and then the other optical input “off. Campbell (SY73-M’74)was born in Gorman.” Appl. vol. P. Hereceived the B. L. Soc.1979. Atlanta. Copeland. Campbell is a member of Sigma Xi. Murray Hill. his work has included theoretical studies of spacecharge dynamics and thermal noise generation as well as experimental studies of devices for high-speed logic and millimeter-wave power generation. and C. pp. Develop. degrees in physics from the University of Illinois. 0. C. where he worked on integrated optics in GaAs/AlGaAs. From 1969 to 1972 he worked at Bell Laboratories. Liebmann Awardfor his work on galliumarsenide microwave devices. Semenov. Wayne S. 2. degree in physics from the University of Texas. A.V. and Ph. and fluorescent ceramics. T. C. M. His doctoral dissertation was on the quantum theory of ferromagnetism. “Dualwavelength demultiplexing InGaAsP photodiode.65 pm. 17. 1493-1498.. Oct. on February 2. Lee. Glass and T. Burrus. A.S. Holmdel.. G. on January 11. A. J. PA. respectively. Miller. Dentai. H. 601-603. TX.” IBM J. Sept. T.”Appl. Mar.. 197-199. F.. Lasher and A.