Nano Letters

High-Responsivity Graphene-Boron Nitride Photodetector and Autocorrelator in a Silicon Photonic Integrated Circuit

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Graphene and other two-dimensional (2D) materials have emerged as promising materials for broadband and ultrafast photodetection and optical modulation. These optoelectronic capabilities can augment complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) devices for high-speed and low-power optical interconnects. Here, we demonstrate an on-chip ultrafast photodetector based on a two-dimensional heterostructure consisting of high-quality graphene encapsulated in hexagonal boron nitride. Coupled to the optical mode of a silicon waveguide, this 2D heterostructure-based photodetector exhibits a maximum responsivity of 0.36 A/W and high-speed operation with a 3 dB cutoff at 42 GHz. From photocurrent measurements as a function of the top-gate and source-drain voltages, we conclude that the photoresponse is consistent with hot electron mediated effects. At moderate peak powers above 50 mW, we observe a saturating photocurrent consistent with the mechanisms of electron-phonon supercollision cooling. This nonlinear photoresponse enables optical on-chip autocorrelation measurements with picosecond-scale timing resolution and exceptionally low peak powers.