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Silicon On Insulator (SOI) based nanophotonics


Silicon waveguides using SOI substrate allow for the fabrication of extremely compact photonic circuits based on standard CMOS processing. The goal of this project is to simulate, design and characterize several highly attractive optical functions and sub-systems in silicon photonics.

Project Description

For updated information, please see, a 6-year program on silicon photonics.

Thanks to a collaboration between the Canadian Microsystems Corporation (CMC) and the university of Ghent (Belgium - IMEC), we had the opportunity to fabricate nanometer sized passive functions, using a CMOS compatible process. IMEC (Belgium) has successfully fabricated silicon photonic wires with a 220 nm x 500 nm rectangular cross-section, for which propagation losses as low as 2.4dB/cm and bending losses in the order of 0.016 dB for 90° wire bends of 3um radius have been reported for TE-polarized light at a wavelength of 1550 nm [1]. Thus, they are promising candidates for highly dense Photonics Integrated Circuits fabrication by using a cost-effective, high-yield, CMOS-like process [2].

During the period between September 2008 and December 2008, our group at UBC designed several passive optical functions such as photonic crystals, ring and racetracks resonators with high quality factors, novel circulators, high sensitivity sensors (gyroscopes and temperature sensors) and devices for further characterization (coupling between waveguides, temperature effects, propagation losses). We used different methods such as 2D / 3D FDTD (Finite Difference Time Domain - Lumerical FDTD), 2D FD [3], and custom made device simulators.

Our goals are to demonstrate:
- Highly sensitive sensors,
- Novels Photonic Crystals based functions,
- Novels nanometer sized optical functions,
- and to quantify and predict the temperature effects on these devices.

One wafer containing 186 devices (each is 6mm x 12mm large) has been fabricated at IMEC (Belgium) between January 2009 and March 2009. The characterization procedure took place in our lab at UBC between April 2009 and September 2009.

We acknowledge the support of CMC for this project and especially Dr. Dan Deptuck for all his efforts to maintain such a close collaboration.

People involved in this project are:
- Prof Nick Jaeger (Project Coordination)
- Prof Lukas Chrostowski (Project Coordination)
- Dr Dan Deptuck (CMC - Project coordination)
- Dr Nicolas Rouger (Experimental setup coordination - Temperature effects)
- Miguel A.G. Torres (Mask design coordination - optical gyroscopes)
- Behnam Faraji (Photonic Crystal demultiplexer)
- Brendan Francis (Photonic Crystal circulator)
- Shahrooz Amin (Photonic Crystals)
- Mario Michaan (Photonic Crystals)
- Raha Vafaei (High quality factor Racetrack resonators - optical sensors)
- Robi Boeck (High quality factor Racetrack resonators - optical sensors)

You can participate at this project thanks to a Canada-wide Silicon Nanophotonics course. For the year 2009/2010, please visit this web link:

[1] :
[2] : Miguel Ángel Guillén Torres, Nicolas Rouger, Raha Vafaei, Shahrooz M. Amin, Robi Boeck, Behnam Faraji, Brendan Francis, Alina Kulpa, Juan Mario Michaan, Lukas Chrostowski, Nicolas Jaeger, Dan Deptuck, "SOI Nanophotonic Devices Analysis and Fabrication ", Pacific Centre for Advanced Materials and Microstructures (PCAMM) Annual Meeting, 29/11/2008.
[3] : Nicolas Rouger, Lukas Chrostowski, "Simulation of coupling between parallel SOI nanowaveguides and its dependence on temperature", submitted to IEEE Photonics Society - Optical Mems and Nanophotonics 2009, 16/08/2009.

Faculty Supervisor(s)

    Lukas.Chrostowski    Nicolas.Jaeger   


    behnamf        mangelgt    mjmichan    nicolasr    rahav    Robert.Boeck   

Research Area(s)

    Photonics and Optics