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.
The field of silicon photonics has expanded rapidly over the past several decades. This has led to a degree of standardisation in the commercial device fabrication foundries that are available for universities and fabless companies alike. Whilst this is advantageous in terms of yield, repeatability etc., it is not conducive for researchers to develop new and novel devices for future systems. CORNERSTONE offers researchers a flexible device prototyping capability that can support photonics research around the world.
The CORNERSTONE project (Capability for OptoelectRoNics, mEtamateRialS, nanoTechnOlogy, aNd sEnsing) is a UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funded project between 3 UK universities: University of Southampton, University of Glasgow and University of Surrey. The project is based on deep-ultraviolet (DUV) photolithography equipment, installed at the University of Southampton, centred around a 248 nm Scanner, the first of its kind in a UK university. Utilising these facilities, CORNERSTONE will offer a multi-project wafer (MPW) service on several silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platforms (220 nm, 340 nm & 500 nm) for both passive and active silicon photonic devices.
This talk will give an overview of the CORNERSTONE project, present some of its early data, and summarise future MPW offerings.