Laser-enginnered Silicon Photonic Devices

Lead Research Organisation: University of Southampton
Department Name: Optoelectronics Research Ctr (closed)


Silicon is an excellent material for electronics, and its microprocessors are prevalent in the gadgets we use every day (phones, tablets, televisions etc.). More recently, it has also shown great promise for photonics technologies, opening up the possibility for electronic-photonic integration. However, there is a challenge: silicon photonic devices are typically fabricated via complex processing of expensive single crystal wafers, which renders multi-device integration difficult. This project seeks to develop a simple, low cost laser materials processing procedure to fabricate high quality polysilicon photonic platforms that will ease issues associated with optoelectronic integration.

Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/N509747/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2021
1921445 Studentship EP/N509747/1 30/09/2016 29/09/2020 Stuart MacFarquhar
Description Third-order nonlinear optical effects useful for optical signal processing have been demonstrated in laser-manufactured silicon waveguides. Although these have been observed before, the efficiency of the spectral broadening is greater than in our previous measurements, indicating that the optical quality of the waveguides has been improved. A novel method of defining waveguides in hydrogenated amorphous silicon films has been demonstrated using a direct laser writing method, with a conference submission accepted.
Exploitation Route This could be used as a low-cost method to make silicon waveguides that are compatible with electronic systems. The materials optimization work could also be used to improve yields of photonic chips. The laser processing could also be applied to other materials.
Sectors Digital/Communication/Information Technologies (including Software)