Special Issue "Silicon Photonics Components and Applications"

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 March 2017

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Dr. Paolo Minzioni

Integrated Photonics Lab, Department of Electrical, Computer, and Biomedical Engineering, Università di Pavia, Via Ferrata, 5 A, I-27100 Pavia, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nonlinear optics; silicon photonics; integrated devices; optical resonators; fiber transmission systems; optical phase conjugation; spectral inversion; optical trapping; biophotonics; microfuidics; acustofluidics; optofluidics

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

It is my pleasure to invite you to contribute to the Special Issue of Applied Sciences that will be dedicated to Silicon Photonics. New research results submissions (both as short letters or full-length papers, and dealing with both experimental and theoretical analyses) are welcome, and critical reviews of results already reported in the literature are specially solicited.

Silicon Photonics emerged in the last decade as the almost “natural evolution” of the miniaturized optical components. At the state of the art, even if Silicon has not cancelled the use of discrete optical components and if it cannot compete with other materials for specific applications, it is nevertheless impossible to ignore the relevance of the Silicon Photonics field in the current photonics research. The first field where Silicon-Photonics established as a key technology is that related to short-distance optical communication system, but nowadays the developed technologies allow considering the use of Silicon-Photonics also for completely different applications, ranging from gas and liquid sensing to biological analyses.

The aim of this Special Issue is to put together a collection of papers covering different applications (so as to offer a broad panorama of the possible Silicon Photonics purposes) and highlighting the most recent scientific discoveries and trends in this continuously and rapidly evolving field.

Dr. Paolo Minzioni
Guest Editor

Submission

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. Papers will be published continuously (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are refereed through a peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Applied Sciences is an international peer-reviewed Open Access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1200 CHF (Swiss Francs).

Keywords

  • silicon photonics
  • integrated devices
  • optical waveguides
  • nonlinear effects
  • optical filters
  • optical coupling
  • optical packaging
  • hybrid integration
  • silicon based transceivers
  • silicon micro-opto-fluidics
  • silicon-based biophotonics
  • silicon-photonics metamaterials

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

Jump to: Review

Open AccessArticle Low-Loss Micro-Resonator Filters Fabricated in Silicon by CMOS-Compatible Lithographic Techniques: Design and Characterization
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(2), 174; doi:10.3390/app7020174
Received: 10 January 2017 / Revised: 25 January 2017 / Accepted: 7 February 2017 / Published: 11 February 2017
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Abstract
Optical resonators are fundamental building-blocks for the development of Si-photonics-integrated circuits, as tunable on-chip optical filters. In addition to the specific spectral shape, which may vary according to a particular application, extremely low losses from these devices are a crucial requirement. In the
[...] Read more.
Optical resonators are fundamental building-blocks for the development of Si-photonics-integrated circuits, as tunable on-chip optical filters. In addition to the specific spectral shape, which may vary according to a particular application, extremely low losses from these devices are a crucial requirement. In the current state-of-the-art devices, most low-loss filters have only been demonstrated by exploiting ad hoc lithographic and etching techniques, which are not compatible with the standard CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) process-flow available at Si-photonic foundries. In this paper, we describe the design and optimization of optical micro-resonators, based on Si-waveguides with a height lower than the standard ones (i.e., less than 220 nm), prepared on SOI (silicon on insulator) platform, which allow the realization of high-performance optical filters with an insertion loss lower than 1 dB, using only previously validated lithographic etch-depths. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Photonics Components and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Luminescent Properties of Silicon Nanocrystals:Spin on Glass Hybrid Materials
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 72; doi:10.3390/app7010072
Received: 15 October 2016 / Revised: 5 December 2016 / Accepted: 8 December 2016 / Published: 13 January 2017
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Abstract
The photoluminescence characteristics of films consisting of Si nanocrystals either coated with or embedded into Spin on Glass (SOG) were studied. Si nanocrystals showing red or blue luminescence when suspended in alcohol solution were obtained from porous silicon films. These were then either
[...] Read more.
The photoluminescence characteristics of films consisting of Si nanocrystals either coated with or embedded into Spin on Glass (SOG) were studied. Si nanocrystals showing red or blue luminescence when suspended in alcohol solution were obtained from porous silicon films. These were then either deposited in Si substrates and coated with SOG, or mixed in an SOG solution that was later spun on Si substrates. Both types of films were thermally annealed at 1100 °C for three hours in N2 atmosphere. Transmission electron microscopy measurements showed a mean diameter of 2.5 nm for the Si nanocrystals, as well as the presence of polycrystalline Si nanoagglomerates. These results were confirmed by X-ray diffraction studies, which revealed the (111), (220) and (311) Bragg peaks in Si nanocrystals. Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy studies showed that the coated films present higher chemical reactivity, promoting the formation of non-stoichiometric SiO2, while the embedded films behave as a stoichiometric SiO2 after the thermal annealing. The PL (photoluminescence) characterization showed that both embedded and coated films present emission dominated by the Quantum Confinement Effect before undergoing any thermal treatment. After annealing, the spectra were found to be modified only in the case of the coated films, due to the formation of defects in the nanocrystals/SiO2 interface. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Photonics Components and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Numerical Simulation of Multi-Crystalline Silicon Crystal Growth Using a Macro–Micro Coupled Method during the Directional Solidification Process
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 21; doi:10.3390/app7010021
Received: 30 September 2016 / Revised: 20 November 2016 / Accepted: 15 December 2016 / Published: 26 December 2016
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Abstract
In this work, the crystal growth of multi-crystalline silicon (mc-Si) during the directional solidification process was studied using the cellular automaton method. The boundary heat transfer coefficient was adjusted to get a suitable temperature field and a high-quality mc-Si ingot. Under the conditions
[...] Read more.
In this work, the crystal growth of multi-crystalline silicon (mc-Si) during the directional solidification process was studied using the cellular automaton method. The boundary heat transfer coefficient was adjusted to get a suitable temperature field and a high-quality mc-Si ingot. Under the conditions of top adiabatic and bottom constant heat flux, the shape of the crystal-melt interface changes from concave to convex with the decrease of the heat transfer coefficient on the side boundaries. In addition, the nuclei form at the bottom boundary while columnar crystals develop into silicon melt with amzigzag-faceted interface. The higher-energy silicon grains were merged into lower energy ones. In the end, the number of silicon grains decreases with the increase of crystal length. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Photonics Components and Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle Optimization of Silicon MZM Fabrication Parameters for High Speed Short Reach Interconnects at 1310 nm
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(12), 395; doi:10.3390/app6120395
Received: 21 October 2016 / Revised: 15 November 2016 / Accepted: 23 November 2016 / Published: 29 November 2016
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Abstract
Optical modulators are key components to realize photonic circuits, and Mach-Zehnder modulators (MZM) are often used for high speed short reach interconnects. In order to maximize the tolerable path loss of a transmission link at a given bitrate, the MZM needs to be
[...] Read more.
Optical modulators are key components to realize photonic circuits, and Mach-Zehnder modulators (MZM) are often used for high speed short reach interconnects. In order to maximize the tolerable path loss of a transmission link at a given bitrate, the MZM needs to be optimized. However, the optimization can be complex since the overall link performance depends on various parameters, and, for the MZM in particular, implies several trade-offs between efficiency, losses, and bandwidth. In this work, we propose a general and rigorous method to optimize silicon MZM. We first describe the optical link, and the numerical method used for this study. Then we present the results associated to the active region for 1310 nm applications. An analytical model is generated, and allows us to quickly optimize the p-n junction depending of the targeted performances for the MZM. Taking into account the required optical link parameters, the maximum tolerable path losses for different length of MZM is determined. By applying this method, simulations show that the optimum MZM length for 25 Gbps applications is 4 mm with an efficiency of 1.87 V·cm, 0.52 dB/mm of losses. A tolerable path loss of more than 25 dB is obtained. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Photonics Components and Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle A Micro-Processor-Based Feedback Stabilization Scheme for High-Q, Non-Linear Silicon Resonators
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(11), 316; doi:10.3390/app6110316
Received: 11 October 2016 / Revised: 20 October 2016 / Accepted: 21 October 2016 / Published: 25 October 2016
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Abstract
Stabilization of silicon micro-resonators is a key requirement for their inclusion in larger photonic integrated circuits. In particular, thermal refractive index shift in non-linear applications can detune devices from their optimal working point. A cavity stabilization scheme using a micro-processor-based feedback control loop
[...] Read more.
Stabilization of silicon micro-resonators is a key requirement for their inclusion in larger photonic integrated circuits. In particular, thermal refractive index shift in non-linear applications can detune devices from their optimal working point. A cavity stabilization scheme using a micro-processor-based feedback control loop is presented based on a local thermal heater element on-chip. Using this method, a silicon π -phase shifted grating with a cavity Q-factor of 40k is demonstrated to operate over an ambient temperature detuning range of 40 C and injection wavelength range of 1.5 nm, nearly 3 orders of magnitude greater than the resonant cavity linewidth. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Photonics Components and Applications)
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Open AccessArticle Atomic Layer Deposition TiO2 Films and TiO2/SiNx Stacks Applied for Silicon Solar Cells
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(8), 233; doi:10.3390/app6080233
Received: 19 June 2016 / Revised: 31 July 2016 / Accepted: 12 August 2016 / Published: 19 August 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3086 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Titanium oxide (TiO2) films and TiO2/SiNx stacks have potential in surface passivation, anti-reflection coatings and carrier-selective contact layers for crystalline Si solar cells. A Si wafer, deposited with 8-nm-thick TiO2 film by atomic layer deposition, has a
[...] Read more.
Titanium oxide (TiO2) films and TiO2/SiNx stacks have potential in surface passivation, anti-reflection coatings and carrier-selective contact layers for crystalline Si solar cells. A Si wafer, deposited with 8-nm-thick TiO2 film by atomic layer deposition, has a surface recombination velocity as low as 14.93 cm/s at the injection level of 1.0 × 1015 cm−3. However, the performance of silicon surface passivation of the deposited TiO2 film declines as its thickness increases, probably because of the stress effects, phase transformation, atomic hydrogen and thermal stability of amorphous TiO2 films. For the characterization of 66-nm-thick TiO2 film, the results of transmission electron microscopy show that the anatase TiO2 crystallinity forms close to the surface of the Si. Secondary ion mass spectrometry shows the atomic hydrogen at the interface of TiO2 and Si which serves for chemical passivation. The crystal size of anatase TiO2 and the homogeneity of TiO2 film can be deduced by the measurements of Raman spectroscopy and spectroscopic ellipsometry, respectively. For the passivating contacts of solar cells, in addition, a stack composed of 8-nm-thick TiO2 film and a plasma-enhanced chemical-vapor-deposited 72-nm-thick SiNx layer has been investigated. From the results of the measurement of the reflectivity and effective carrier lifetime, TiO2/SiNx stacks on Si wafers perform with low reflectivity and some degree of surface passivation for the Si wafer. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Photonics Components and Applications)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessFeature PaperReview Nonlinear Silicon Photonic Signal Processing Devices for Future Optical Networks
Appl. Sci. 2017, 7(1), 103; doi:10.3390/app7010103
Received: 11 November 2016 / Revised: 16 December 2016 / Accepted: 25 December 2016 / Published: 20 January 2017
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Abstract
In this paper, we present a review on silicon-based nonlinear devices for all optical nonlinear processing of complex telecommunication signals. We discuss some recent developments achieved by our research group, through extensive collaborations with academic partners across Europe, on optical signal processing using
[...] Read more.
In this paper, we present a review on silicon-based nonlinear devices for all optical nonlinear processing of complex telecommunication signals. We discuss some recent developments achieved by our research group, through extensive collaborations with academic partners across Europe, on optical signal processing using silicon-germanium and amorphous silicon based waveguides as well as novel materials such as silicon rich silicon nitride and tantalum pentoxide. We review the performance of four wave mixing wavelength conversion applied on complex signals such as Differential Phase Shift Keying (DPSK), Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK), 16-Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM) and 64-QAM that dramatically enhance the telecom signal spectral efficiency, paving the way to next generation terabit all-optical networks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Photonics Components and Applications)
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Open AccessFeature PaperReview Photonic Packaging: Transforming Silicon Photonic Integrated Circuits into Photonic Devices
Appl. Sci. 2016, 6(12), 426; doi:10.3390/app6120426
Received: 7 November 2016 / Revised: 1 December 2016 / Accepted: 5 December 2016 / Published: 15 December 2016
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Abstract
Dedicated multi-project wafer (MPW) runs for photonic integrated circuits (PICs) from Si foundries mean that researchers and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) can now afford to design and fabricate Si photonic chips. While these bare Si-PICs are adequate for testing new device and circuit designs
[...] Read more.
Dedicated multi-project wafer (MPW) runs for photonic integrated circuits (PICs) from Si foundries mean that researchers and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) can now afford to design and fabricate Si photonic chips. While these bare Si-PICs are adequate for testing new device and circuit designs on a probe-station, they cannot be developed into prototype devices, or tested outside of the laboratory, without first packaging them into a durable module. Photonic packaging of PICs is significantly more challenging, and currently orders of magnitude more expensive, than electronic packaging, because it calls for robust micron-level alignment of optical components, precise real-time temperature control, and often a high degree of vertical and horizontal electrical integration. Photonic packaging is perhaps the most significant bottleneck in the development of commercially relevant integrated photonic devices. This article describes how the key optical, electrical, and thermal requirements of Si-PIC packaging can be met, and what further progress is needed before industrial scale-up can be achieved. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Silicon Photonics Components and Applications)
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Planned Papers

The below list represents only planned manuscripts. Some of these manuscripts have not been received by the Editorial Office yet. Papers submitted to MDPI journals are subject to peer-review.

Type of Paper: Review
Title: Silicon Photonics Optical Signal Processing Devices for Future Optical Networks
Authors: Cosimo Lacava, Mohamed Ettabib and Periklis Petropoulos
Affiliation: Optoelectronics Research Centre, University of Southampton, SO17 1BJ, Southampton, UK
Abstract: In this paper we present a comprehensive review on silicon-based nonlinear devices, for all optical nonlinear processing of complex telecommunication signals. We discuss the latest developments achieved by our research group on optical signal processing by using silicon-germanium and amorphous silicon based waveguides. We show four wave mixing wavelength conversion, signal phase regeneration and optical conjugation functionalities applied on complex signals such as 16-QAM, 32-QAM and 64 QAM that dramatically enhance the telecom signal spectral efficiency, paving the way to the next generation terabit all optical networks.

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