enhancing silicon nitride photonics for on-chip nonlinear applications

Department: Electrical & Computer Engineering
Faculty Advisor(s): Y. Shaya Fainman | Yeshaiahu Fainman

Primary Student
Name: Rajat Sharma
Email: r8sharma@ucsd.edu
Phone: 858-249-9071
Grad Year: 2018

Student Collaborators
Alex Friedman, amfriedm@eng.ucsd.edu

In recent years, Silicon Nitride (SiNx) has emerged as one of the most promising materials for on-chip electro-optic and wave-mixing applications. This platform offers several advantages over conventional silicon photonics, such as a wide transparency window stretching from UV to mid-IR and ultra-low propagation loss, while being CMOS compatible. As such it has been employed in the successful realization of on-chip devices such as on-chip LIDARS, gyroscopes, and frequency combs. In this poster, we describe our free-space and in-waveguide results on improving and enhancing this platform by adding in a completely new optical functionality, in the form of an enhanced second-order and third-order nonlinearity. We demonstrate low-loss, thin-films of Silicon-Rich-Nitride (SRN) exhibiting the highest second-order nonlinear coefficient (χ(2)~8 pm/V) as well as the highest degree of tunability ever reported to date in PECVD deposited silicon nitride films. The enhanced nonlinearity furthers their usefulness in realizing on-chip devices such as efficient self-referencing frequency combs and signal up- and down-converters, further demonstrating how silicon nitride has truly matured into a versatile and invaluable addition to any photonic circuit designer?s toolbox.

Industry Application Area(s)
Aerospace, Defense, Security | Electronics/Photonics | Materials

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