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Ultra-Low Loss Si3N4 Integration Platform for Passive and Active Components for Next Generation Photonic Integrated Circuits

As we head towards ultra scale capacity networks and communications systems, the network architecture, system design and engineering, bandwidth and capacity scaling, power dissipation and form factor, and other scaling issues at the physical and higher layers will increasingly benefit from next generation photonics.

Progress towards the realization of a new class of ultra low-loss Si3N4 planar waveguide technologies will be described. This platform has yielded a wealth of active and passive building blocks with on-chip waveguide losses lower than 0.45dB/m and can be integrated with Silicon Photonics and InP. Important system scaling issues like bandwidth, form factor, power density, the power spreading problem and power management, system design, bandwidth management and manufacturability are addressed.

The next generation ULL-SOI platform opens up a wide array of functions and applications that require very low loss integrated optical circuits to perform equivalent functions at lower power consumption than purely electronic solutions and offer a complementary integration feature set to silicon photonics and InP PICs that addresses shortcomings of using these technologies alone. A wide range of passive and active components have been demonstrated including long delay and tunable delay lines, 3D photonic chip stacking, low kappa long gratings, ultra high extinction ratio tunable filters, erbium doped waveguide amplifiers, resonators, switches, vertical couplers and mode matchers and component applications including 1.55 and 1.31 um and narrow linewidth lasers, adaptive dispersion compensators and transversal optical filters, optical regenerators and optical signal processing.

Daniel J. Blumenthal

University of California Santa Barbara

Created April 17, 2017, Updated October 1, 2018