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24 October 2005 Active building blocks for silicon photonic devices
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The need for alternative interconnect technologies that can efficiently deal with large bandwidths of information has led to the investigation of photonic devices suitable for integration into an optical interconnect platform. Active modulation of the optical properties of silicon-based photonic crystals provides the foundation for a variety of tunable components. One promising platform for active silicon photonics building blocks are porous silicon one-dimensional photonic bandgap microcavity structures infiltrated with optically active species. The porous silicon microcavities are fabricated by electrochemical etching, which allows flexibility in the design wavelength. As a first demonstration, electrical and thermal modulation of porous silicon microcavities is shown based on a change in the refractive index of liquid crystals infiltrated in the porous silicon matrix. Controllable tuning to both longer and shorter wavelengths is achieved based on the choice of liquid crystals. Extinction ratios greater than 10 dB have been demonstrated and larger attenuation can be realized by increasing the Q-factor of the microcavities. The porous silicon microcavities can also serve as a template for faster response time active devices based on the infiltration of quantum dots or electro-optic polymers. The relationships between microcavity Q-factor, extinction ratio, active species refractive index change, and device switching speed will be discussed.
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Sharon M. Weiss and Philippe M. Fauchet "Active building blocks for silicon photonic devices", Proc. SPIE 6017, Nanophotonics for Communication: Materials and Devices II, 60170H (24 October 2005);

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