Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Important Breakthrough Towards Silicon-based All-optical Integrated Circuits

Date:
April 18, 2009
Source:
Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC)
Summary:
The first experimental proof of all-optical ultra-fast communication signal processing with silicon-based devices for transmission speeds above 100Gbit/s has been published.

Scanning electron microscope picture of the cross-section of the vapor deposited organic film covering the silicon waveguide. The waveguide is patterned on a silicon-on-insulator substrate.
Credit: Image courtesy of Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC)

Nature Photonics has published the first experimental proof of all-optical ultra-fast communication signal processing with silicon-based devices for transmission speeds above 100Gbit/s.

The paper results from the collaboration between University of Karlsruhe, Germany; IMEC, Leuven, Belgium; Lehigh University, USA and ETH Zόrich, Switzerland. The achievements are a key step towards the development of complex silicon-based photonic integrated circuits.

All-optical signal processing is particularly of interest in telecommunications applications, where speed, power and cost are crucial. A key element to enable all-optical processing is optical waveguides with highly nonlinear and ultra-fast performance. Researchers from University of Karlsruhe, IMEC and its associated laboratory INTEC at Ghent University, Lehigh University and ETH Zόrich fabricated an innovative optical waveguide structure by combining deep-ultraviolet lithography, standard CMOS processing and organic molecular beam deposition. This so-called silicon-organic hybrid (SOH) approach enables the fabrication of waveguides which pave the way towards all-optical processing, where photons do no longer need to be converted to electrons. This is considered to be one of the most promising ways to handle the rapidly increasing global communication traffic.

A 4mm long SOH waveguide with a record nonlinearity coefficient of γ ≈ 105(Wkm)-1 in the 1.55΅m telecommunication window proved the capability of the SOH concept. As such, record values predicted by theory have for the first time been experimentally confirmed. Based on these waveguides, all-optical demultiplexing of a 170.8Gbit/s telecommunication signal to 42.7Gbit/s was performed using four-wave mixing. This is the fastest silicon photonic optical signal processing demonstrated to date. This experiment proved the viability of the SOH waveguides for all-optical processing of broadband telecommunication signals.

With the SOH approach, some inherent limitations of silicon could be overcome. Silicon-based technology, in particular silicon-on-insulator (SOI) technology, has already proven very successful for the fabrication of various passive linear optical devices such as filters. The development of ultra-fast active Si-based functionalities, such as all-optical switching, remained challenging due to the slow dynamics caused by unwanted non-linear effects in silicon. So far, the data rate achieved by using bare silicon waveguides was limited to only 40Gbit/s.

The SOH approach overcomes this intrinsic limitation - thus enabling data rates above 100Gbit/s - by combining the best of two worlds: mature CMOS processing is used to fabricate the waveguide, and organic molecular beam deposition is used to cover it with organic molecules. These molecules efficiently transfer all-optical interaction without introducing significant absorption. The ability of the organic material to homogeneously fill the slot between the waveguides is a key feature of the deposition process.

The silicon circuits were designed by researchers of the University of Karlsruhe in a fabless way, and were fabricated through the ePIXfab service on IMEC’s 200mm silicon photonics platform. ePIXfab is a European funded initiative coordinated by IMEC to allow cost-effective fabless prototyping in wafer-scale silicon photonics technology for R&D.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC). Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC). "Important Breakthrough Towards Silicon-based All-optical Integrated Circuits." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 18 April 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090414084455.htm>.
Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC). (2009, April 18). Important Breakthrough Towards Silicon-based All-optical Integrated Circuits. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090414084455.htm
Interuniversity Microelectronics Centre (IMEC). "Important Breakthrough Towards Silicon-based All-optical Integrated Circuits." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/04/090414084455.htm (accessed July 23, 2014).

Share This




More Matter & Energy News

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-Free Travel

AP (July 23, 2014) — 'Ray' the robotic parking valet at Dusseldorf Airport in Germany lets travelers to avoid the hassle of finding a parking spot before heading to the check-in desk. (July 23) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Boeing Ups Outlook on 52% Profit Jump

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) — Commercial aircraft deliveries rose seven percent at Boeing, prompting the aerospace company to boost full-year profit guidance- though quarterly revenues missed analyst estimates. Bobbi Rebell reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Europe's Car Market on the Rebound?

Reuters - Business Video Online (July 23, 2014) — Daimler kicks off a round of second-quarter earnings results from Europe's top carmakers with a healthy set of numbers - prompting hopes that stronger sales in Europe will counter weakness in emerging markets. Hayley Platt reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

9/11 Commission Members Warn of Terror "fatigue" Among American Public

Reuters - US Online Video (July 22, 2014) — Ten years after releasing its initial report, members of the 9/11 Commission warn of the "waning sense of urgency" in combating terrorists attacks. Mana Rabiee reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins