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Unformatted text preview: Silicon Fundamentals for Photonics Applications David J. Lockwood 1 and Lorenzo Pavesi 2 1 Institute for Microstructural Sciences, National Research Council of Canada Ottawa, ON, Canada K1A 0R6 [email protected] 2 Dipartimento di Fisica, Universit`a di Trento Via Sommarive 14, 38050-Povo Trento, Italy [email protected] Abstract. The many and diverse approaches to materials science problems have greatly enhanced our ability to engineer the physical properties of semiconductors. Silicon, of all semiconductors, underpins nearly all microelectronics today and will continue to do so for some time to come. However, in optoelectronics and photonics, the severe disadvantage of an indirect band-gap and of a negligible electro-optic coefficient has limited the application of elemental silicon. This chapter provides introductory material on the physical properties of silicon and outlines a number of diverse approaches to engineering efficient photonic components from silicon. The common paradigm is material compatibility with microelectronic components. 1 Introduction The ubiquitous silicon microelectronic “chip” is taken for granted in mod- ern society. There has been much research involved in producing these high technology marvels and such research continues unabated at a faster and faster pace. Continued developments in Si and, more recently, Si 1 − x Ge x al- loy and strained silicon technology [ 1 , 2 ] continue to advance the frontiers of device integration, complexity, and speed. This continued advance has been driven by application requirements in switching technology (e.g., com- puters) and high-speed electronics (e.g., wireless telecommunications). Today the thrust is towards pervasive computing: the end-user will use all the power of a computer without noticing that the device he is using has a computer inside. Other compound semiconductor materials, such as GaAs or InP or III–V alloys, have, however, maintained a significant role in the construction of optoelectronic and purely photonic devices [ 3 ]. Photonics is the technol- ogy associated with signal generation, processing, transmission and detection where the signal is carried by photons (i.e., light); principal photonic devices are lasers, waveguides, modulators, detectors, and optical fibers [ 4 ]. If one compares today’s photonics industry (worth almost 9 b$) with the microelectronics one (worth almost 160 b$) there are many differences: L. Pavesi, D. J. Lockwood (Eds.): Silicon Photonics, Topics Appl. Phys. 94 , 1– 52 (2004) c circlecopyrt Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2004 2 David J. Lockwood and Lorenzo Pavesi Fig. 1. Materials and components in an optoelectronic transceiver. (Source: Intel c circlecopyrt ) • A variety of different materials is used: e.g., the InP substrate for source development, silica as the material for fibers, lithium niobate for modula- tors, other materials for DWDM components and EDFA amplifiers, and so on (see Fig. 1 )....
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This note was uploaded on 11/07/2009 for the course ELEC ece212 taught by Professor None during the Spring '09 term at York University.
- Spring '09