Over the past 15 years, substantial progress has been made in silicon-based photonic integration platforms. Using highly-confined Si waveguides, the footprint of photonic ICs has been dramatically reduced which has enabled e.g. CMOS compatible high-density electro-optic transceivers for short-reach optical interconnects. Contemporary Si photonic platforms use mostly group IV elements (Si and Ge) for the realization of active devices (modulators and photodetectors). However, there’s an increasing interest in monolithic integration of III-V materials for realizing superior active device functionality, including on-chip light emission and improved modulation and detection capabilities.
In this thesis, the PhD candidate will develop and benchmark different device architectures for realizing high-speed optical modulators on silicon targeting next-generation low-power optical interconnects. The student will design III-V electro-absorption modulators that can be monolithically co-integrated with low-loss silicon waveguides on imec’s Silicon Photonics platform. Advanced optical and TCAD modeling will be used to optimize device performance, maximizing extinction ratio and operating speed at minimum loss. In the early stage, the student will perform lab processing to fabricate test structures for characterization of the optical and electro-optical characteristics of the material, in order to calibrate the device model. Eventually the most promising device concepts will be implemented in imec’s emerging monolithic III-V on Si platform. The student will learn to perform electrical, optical and electro-optical characterization at DC and also at high-speed, in order to characterize the fabricated electro-absorption modulators. The candidate is expected to be an independent worker and a good team player.
Required background: electronic engineering, physics.
Type of work: 5% literature survey, 20% simulation, 10% design and layout, 30% lab device processing, 30% device characterization, 5% reporting
Supervisor: Dries Van Thourhout
Daily advisor: Marianna Pantouvaki
The reference code for this PhD position is STS1712-21. Mention this reference code on your application form.