Design,Fabrication and Characterization of Planar Lightwave Circuits Based on Silicon Nanowire Platform

by Zhu, Ning

Abstract (Summary)

Optical devices based on Planar Lightwave Circuit (PLC) technology have well been studied due to their inherited advantages from Integrated Circuits (IC), such as: small size, high reliability, mass production and potential integration with microelectronics. Among all the materials, silicon nanowire platform gains more and more interest. The large refractive index difference between core and cladding allows tremendous reduction of the component size. This thesis studies theoretically and experimentally some integrated optical devices based on silicon nanophotonic platform, including echelle grating demultiplexers and photonic crystals.

Some of the numerical methods are introduced first. Scalar integral diffraction method is efficient for calculating the diffraction efficiency of gratings. Beam propagation method and finite-difference time-domain method are also introduced, for simulating the light propagation along the devices.

The fabrication technology and characterization methods are described. The fabrication steps involve: plasma assisted film deposition, E-beam lithography, RIE-etching. All these steps are proceeded under cleanroom environment. The characterization is mainly based on two methods: end-fire coupling and vertical grating coupling. The grating coupler is more efficient compared with the butt-coupling between fiber and nanowires, but is worse solution for final packaging.

Two types of components have been realized and characterized with the above technology. The echelle grating demultiplexer is one of the key components in WDM networks. A method for increasing the diffraction efficiency based on total internal reflection is applied, and a significant improvement of the diffraction efficiency of more than 3dB is achieved. A novel cross-order echelle grating-based triplexer, a bidirectional transceiver for application in the Passive Optical Networks (PON), has been designed and fabricated, which can multi/demultiplex three channels located at 1310nm, 1490nm and 1550nm. Polarization dependence issue of echelle grating demultiplexers has been studied. Two polarization compensation schemes have been proposed, which are for the first time polarization insensitive designs of echelle grating demultiplexers based on silicon nanowire platform.

Photonic crystal devices are also addressed in the thesis. There has been little research on the photonic crystal cavity based on pillar type. A silicon pillar type photonic crystal cavity has been fabricated with the measured Q value as high as about 104, and with an extremely high sensitivity for the changing of the background material or the effective diameter of the pillars. This kind of structure has the advantage on sensing applications compared to the air-hole type structure.

Bibliographical Information:


School:Kungliga Tekniska högskolan

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation



Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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