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Si-rich silicon nitride for nonlinear signal processing applications


Nonlinear silicon photonic devices have attracted considerable attention thanks to their ability to show large third-order nonlinear effects at moderate power levels allowing for all-optical signal processing functionalities in miniaturized components. Although significant efforts have been made and many nonlinear optical functions have already been demonstrated in this platform, the performance of nonlinear silicon photonic devices remains fundamentally limited at the telecom wavelength region due to the two photon absorption (TPA) and related effects. In this work, we propose an alternative CMOS-compatible platform, based on silicon-rich silicon nitride that can overcome this limitation. By carefully selecting the material deposition parameters, we show that both of the device linear and nonlinear properties can be tuned in order to exhibit the desired behaviour at the selected wavelength region. A rigorous and systematic fabrication and characterization campaign of different material compositions is presented, enabling us to demonstrate TPA-free CMOS-compatible waveguides with low linear loss (~1.5 dB/cm) and enhanced Kerr nonlinear response (Re{γ} = 16 Wm−1). Thanks to these properties, our nonlinear waveguides are able to produce a π nonlinear phase shift, paving the way for the development of practical devices for future optical communication applications.


The SIN platform development was initiated within the  EPSRC first grant EP/K02423X/1 HERMES: High dEnsity Silicon GeRManium intEgrated photonicS. The platform is currently developped further through  collaboration under the EPSRC  : A Platform Grant EP/N013247/1: Electronic-Photonic Convergence, EP/L021129/1 CORNERSTONE: Capability for OptoelectRoNics, mEtamateRialS, nanoTechnOlogy aNd sEnsing and European project H2020 COSMICC,

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