Purdue University Graduate School
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Fabrication and Characterization of Silicon Photonic Devices

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posted on 2021-08-11, 18:30 authored by Abdullah Al NomanAbdullah Al Noman
Silicon photonics has become one of the leading candidates for the next generation optical communication platform. In addition to being an inexpensive material and compatible with Complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor (CMOS) manufacturing, silicon exhibits low absorption at optical telecommunication bands. However, high propagation loss and poor light confinement in narrow Si waveguides have limited high-density optical integration.
In this work, we show the fabrication and characterization of a novel type of devices named E-skid devices that can reduce the skin depth and suppress the large spatial content of evanescent light. These devices use artificial anisotropic dielectric metamaterial to suppress the evanescent waves. Beside E-skid devices, we also discuss the fabrication and experimental characterization of mode filters using Silicon on Insulator that can block the fundamental TE0 and allow the higher order modes to pass through using Multi Mode Interference.
In this work, the mode is filtered using radiation, not by reflection.
Beside Silicon, Silicon Nitride has also gained much interest because of its low loss, smaller nonlinear absorption and higher Kerr effect. Silicon Nitride waveguides have widely
been used for lots of applications specially the optical frequency comb generation. One special case of coherent optical frequency comb is Soliton in which case the non-linearity and dispersion cancel each other’s effect and keep the pulse without distortion. In this work, we described the Silicon Nitride fabrication process and did a comparative analysis with other research groups who fabricates similar devices. We tried to improve our process by inserting a few additional steps in our fabrication process. We also investigated our process step by step and found out reasons for our low quality factor and low yield. We found a few factors that might be responsible for the low quality factor and addressed them. We fabricated real devices using our modified process and saw improvement in quality factors, yield and thermal performance of the devices.
Finally, we describe an edge polishing method for Silicon Nitride microring resonator devices, which we developed from scratch and we can polish edges down to sub-micron level. Thus, the edges become optically flat and it allowed us to do heterogeneous integration with an Indium Phosphide chip. This paves away for some exciting opportunities like on-chip frequency comb generation.


Degree Type

  • Doctor of Philosophy


  • Electrical and Computer Engineering

Campus location

  • West Lafayette

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee Chair

Andrew Weiner

Advisor/Supervisor/Committee co-chair

Minghao Qi

Additional Committee Member 2

Alexandara Boltasseva

Additional Committee Member 3

Peter Bermel