Multichannel Silicon Photonic Devices

Authored by: Ting Lei , Shaoqi Feng , Aimé Sayarath , Jun-Feng Song , Xianshu Luo , Guo-Qiang Lo , Andrew W. Poon

Handbook of Silicon Photonics

Print publication date:  April  2013
Online publication date:  April  2016

Print ISBN: 9781439836101
eBook ISBN: 9781439836118
Adobe ISBN:


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Over the past decade, academic and industrial researchers worldwide have feverishly explored silicon (Si) photonics as a possible technology toward next-generation multichannel optical communications and optical interconnects for computercom [13]. Thanks to the mature silicon complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) fabrication processes and foundry services [4, 5], various microscale and nanoscale photonic structures can now be fabricated with high precision and repeatability on silicon and silicon-on- insulator (SOI) wafers. As reviewed in various chapters of this handbook, silicon, as one of the most well-understood materials and the most abundant semiconductor, offers the key advantages of mature fabrication process, low cost, transparency to the telecommunication wavelength range (1300–1600 nm) due to the silicon band gap of 1.12 eV, along with a relatively high refractive index of ~3.5 for optical waveguiding and confinement. Silicon refractive index is also tunable via thermal–optic effect (10−4/K) [2] and free-carrier plasma dispersion effect [6], though linear electro-optic Pockels effect is absent due to the inversion symmetry of bulk silicon crystal lattice. It is based on the above merits of silicon that various compact, passive photonic devices with reconfigurable multichannel processing capabilities have been demonstrated including devices based on Mach–Zehnder interferometers (MZIs) [711], arrayed waveguide gratings (AWGs) [1217], and all sorts of micro-resonators [3, 18–20].

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