Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Can germanium replace silicon in mid-infrared group IV photonics?

Date:
March 24, 2014
Source:
University of Southampton
Summary:
A new research project is aiming to establish whether germanium, a group IV semiconductor, can be used as the material of choice in mid-infrared (mid-IR) photonics circuits and sensors Mid-IR group IV photonics has a number of important application areas, such as chemical and biological sensing, environmental and hazardous substance monitoring, medicine, telecommunications, astronomy, defense and security.

The attached image shows a novel mid-IR waveguide structure for sensing applications.
Credit: Image courtesy of University of Southampton

A new research project led by the University of Southampton is aiming to establish whether germanium, a group IV semiconductor, can be used as the material of choice in mid-infrared (mid-IR) photonics circuits and sensors.

Mid-IR group IV photonics has a number of important application areas, such as chemical and biological sensing, environmental and hazardous substance monitoring, medicine, telecommunications, astronomy, defence and security.

So far, research in mid-IR group IV photonics has focused on silicon-based devices for shorter wavelengths due to its availability, low cost, maturity of fabrication processes, possibility for photonics-electronics integration and a good transparency.

However, the transparency of silicon only extends up to eight micrometres (μm) and is therefore not very suitable as a core material for the mid-IR fingerprint band (8-14 μm). The Mid-Infrared GeRmAnium phoTonIcs fOr seNsing (MIGRATION) project will investigate germanium as an alternative platform to silicon with the aim to future proof emerging technologies in this field. Significantly, compared to silicon, germanium offers a number of other advantages in terms of device development such as higher nonlinear coefficients, better carrier mobility, and the potential to produce active devices based on germanium-based alloys.

Principal Investigator Dr Goran Mashanovich, Reader in Silicon Photonics and Royal Society Research Fellow in the Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC), says: "This visionary program of research provides us with a unique opportunity to create breakthroughs in the field of mid-infrared group IV photonics.

"The research will be performed in the world-leading facilities available at Southampton, which includes a £120 million cleanroom complex and 94 photonics laboratories. This will not only significantly reduce the fabrication and testing turnaround time, but will also give us much better control over the fabrication processes and offer possibilities to improve designs and generate new ideas."

One of the main outcomes of the project will be to identify high-quality germanium substrates that rival the performance of the well-established silicon-on-insulator wafers. This framework will then be used to demonstrate a library of devices such as waveguides, couplers, filters, amplifiers and modulators that will form the building blocks of integrated on-chip circuits, systems and sensors over an extended wavelength regime.

The interdisciplinary project, which is funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will be led by Dr Mashanovich and his colleagues from ORC (Dr Frederic Gardes and Dr Anna Peacock) and Electronics and Computer Science (Dr Harold Chong) and will also involve other Southampton researchers from Biology, Chemistry, Engineering and Physics.

The main project adviser will be Dr Richard Soref from the University of Massachusetts, the pioneer of silicon photonics and mid-IR group IV photonics, with other partners including several universities, DSTL and IQE Silicon Compounds Ltd.

Dr Mashanovich adds: "Another huge advantage is that this program will be closely connected with other very recently awarded research projects I am involved in, which investigate near-IR and mid-IR silicon photonics circuits. For example, we will be able to collaborate with researchers that work on integration of active and passive devices in silicon for telecommunication ( 'Silicon Photonics for Future Systems' EPSRC program grant) or sensing applications ( 'Mid-IR silicon photonics sources, detectors and sensors' funded by the Royal Society) and that will certainly facilitate progress achieved in MIGRATION."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Southampton. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Southampton. "Can germanium replace silicon in mid-infrared group IV photonics?." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 24 March 2014. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324090326.htm>.
University of Southampton. (2014, March 24). Can germanium replace silicon in mid-infrared group IV photonics?. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 23, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324090326.htm
University of Southampton. "Can germanium replace silicon in mid-infrared group IV photonics?." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/03/140324090326.htm (accessed October 23, 2014).

Share This



More Matter & Energy News

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

3D Printed Instruments Make Sweet Music in Sweden

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Students from Lund University's Malmo Academy of Music are believed to be the world's first band to all use 3D printed instruments. The guitar, bass guitar, keyboard and drums were built by Olaf Diegel, professor of product development, who says 3D printing allows musicians to design an instrument to their exact specifications. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Chameleon Camouflage to Give Tanks Cloaking Capabilities

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Inspired by the way a chameleon changes its colour to disguise itself; scientists in Poland want to replace traditional camouflage paint with thousands of electrochromic plates that will continuously change colour to blend with its surroundings. The first PL-01 concept tank prototype will be tested within a few years, with scientists predicting that a similar technology could even be woven into the fabric of a soldiers' clothing making them virtually invisible to the naked eye. Matthew Stock reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Jet Sales Lift Boeing Profit 18 Pct.

Reuters - Business Video Online (Oct. 22, 2014) — Strong jet demand has pushed Boeing to raise its profit forecast for the third time, but analysts were disappointed by its small cash flow. Fred Katayama reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

Internet of Things Aims to Smarten Your Life

AP (Oct. 22, 2014) — As more and more Bluetooth-enabled devices are reaching consumers, developers are busy connecting them together as part of the Internet of Things. (Oct. 22) Video provided by AP
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:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Space & Time

Matter & Energy

Computers & Math

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