Efficient Integrated Photonic Phase Shifters for Data/Telecom and Quantum Applications

Lead Research Organisation: CARDIFF UNIVERSITY
Department Name: School of Physics and Astronomy


Increasingly fast and reliable communications support the operation of industries, the Internet of things, and consumer electronics, underpinning the exchange of information and knowledge. Most services rely on optical interconnects that provide high-capacity, low-cost, low-power consumption interconnects between data centers, high-performance computing, and the Internet.
According to the Cisco report, the network traffic, including the Internet, has increased to 40 Zettabytes of data in 2020. To put the numbers in perspective, the total data generated from the beginning of humanity until 2003 is 0.5% of a Zettabyte. Furthermore, the ever-increasing data traffic accounted for 12% of total global emissions in 2020. As a result, it is crucial to develop efficient networks with higher capacity and reduced power consumption.
This project will contribute to more efficient phase shifters, impacting data/telecom and quantum systems. This research will exploit the properties of indium arsenide quantum dots, including
1. the temperature resilience to demonstrate a phase shifter for cryogenic photonic interconnects used in high-performance computing (quantum): indium arsenide quantum dot's temperature resilience will outperform competing developments employing quantum wells.
2. the resilience to threading dislocation, and material stress of quantum dots, will be exploited to integrate the phase shifter over silicon to bring more efficient phase shifters and modulators to the silicon photonic platform. They will outperform current III-V quantum well monolithic integration approaches due to their stress resilience. Due to silicon's weak modulating effects, it is impossible to produce efficient phase shifters. On the other hand, quantum dots exhibit stronger effects than silicon, increasing bandwidth and reducing power consumption.
This development will impact the commercial optical interconnects using silicon-based photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and current networks relying on them. Additionally, this work will contribute to the development of cryogenic optical interconnects.
This project partners with 1. Carleton University (Canada), 2. Colorado State University (United States), 3. Télécom ParisTech (France), 4. University College Cork and Tyndall National Institute (Ireland), and 5. VTT Technical Research Centre (Finland) to develop the technology.


10 25 50