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13 February 2008 Toward silicon-based longwave integrated optoelectronics (LIO)
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The vision of longwave silicon photonics articulated in the Journal of Optics A, vol. 8, pp 840-848, 2006 has now come into sharper focus. There is evidence that newly designed silicon-based optoelectronic circuits will operate at any wavelength within the wide 1.6 to 200 μm range. Approaches to that LWIR operation are reviewed here. A long-range goal is to manufacture LWIR OEIC chips in a silicon foundry by integrating photonics on-chip with CMOS, bipolar, or BiCMOS micro-electronics. A principal LWIR application now emerging is the sensing of chemical and biological agents with an OE laboratory-on-a-chip. Regarding on-chip IR sources, the hybrid evanescent-wave integration of III-V interband-cascade lasers and quantum-cascade lasers on silicon (or Ge/Si) waveguides is a promising technique, although an alternative all-group-IV solution is presently taking shape in the form of silicon-based Ge/SiGeSn band-to-band and inter-subband lasers. There is plenty of room for creativity in developing a complete suite of LWIR components. Materials modification, device innovation, and scaling of waveguide dimensions are needed to implement microphotonic, plasmonic and photonic-crystal LWIR devices, both active and passive. Such innovation will likely lead to significant LIO applications.
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Richard Soref "Toward silicon-based longwave integrated optoelectronics (LIO)", Proc. SPIE 6898, Silicon Photonics III, 689809 (13 February 2008);

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