As the market adoption of silicon photonics technologies continues to rise, and ever more fabless companies enter the market, there is a clear need for a flexible device prototyping foundry service that retains the ability for device level innovation, whilst also offering a clear route to market. The CORNERSTONE platform offers an affordable multi-project-wafer (MPW) service that allows a degree of customisation, which may not be accessible at other foundries. Through the use of DUV projection lithography, fabrication processes can be easily transferred to other foundries for mass production. Additionally, the ability to exploit high resolution e-beam lithography for certain layers mimics more advanced technology nodes, should this be deemed necessary. Several silicon-on-insulator platforms enable a plethora of applications including datacoms, LIDAR and mid-IR sensing.
This talk gives an overview of the present status of the CORNERSTONE platforms, and an outlook for the future.
A CMOS compatible three-dimensional (3D) integrated photonics circuit for multilayer silicon photonics is reported. Slopes with angles between 10o and 15° were created in the oxide layer using single step wet etching to connect the two Si waveguide layers. Amorphous Si (a-Si) deposited using hot wire chemical vapor deposition (HWCVD) at a temperature of 230°C was used to fabricate the device. Losses of 0.5 dB/slope were measured in the slope waveguides at 1310 nm wavelength. As a demonstration, we propose a 4x4 network switch using a-Si based vertical directional coupler.
This work describes the integration of mid-infrared (MIR) silicon photonics with PDMS microfluidics to perform absorption spectroscopy of IPA-water solutions. The MIR spectral region contains strong absorption bands for many molecules, and photonic devices operating in the MIR can be used in many sensing applications. In this work a preliminary demonstration of a silicon-on-insulator (SOI) device is carried out in which the transmission spectra of different concentrations of water-IPA solutions are measured at wavelengths between 3.725 μm and 3.888 μm. A PDMS microfluidic channel is integrated with the waveguides in order to improve the repeatability of sample handing, reduce reagent volumes and prevent evaporation of the analyte. A microfluidic channel with 3000 x 100 μm cross-section and 30 mm length is bonded to a SOI chip comprising 500 nm thick rib waveguides and a 2 μm thick SiO2top cladding isolating the waveguide mode from the analyte. Trenches were patterned into the SiO2 cladding to create sensing windows of varying lengths (10 μm to 3mm) along different waveguides. The devices were used to detect an expected IPA absorption peak at 3.77 μm, and concentration as low as 3% IPA in water (by volume) was detected. Further work will focus on increasing the sensitivity of the measurement by using increased interaction lengths, reduction of noise and instability, and on the detection of drugs using transmission measurements over a broader wavelength range.
The growing demand for fast, reliable and low power interconnect systems requires the development of efficient and scalable CMOS compatible photonic devices, in particular optical modulators. In this paper, we demonstrate an innovative electro absorption modulator (EAM) developed on an 800 nm SOI platform; the device is integrated in a rib waveguide with dimensions of a 1.5 μm x 40 μm, etched on a selectively grown GeSi cavity. High speed measurements at 1566 nm show an eye diagram with dynamic ER of 5.2 dB at 56 Gbps with a power consumption of 44 fJ/bit.