Horizontal Slot Waveguides for Silicon Photonics Back-End Integration

University dissertation from Stockholm : KTH Royal Institute of Technology

Abstract: This thesis presents the development of integrated silicon photonic devices. These devices are compatible with the present and near future CMOS technology. High-khorizontal grating couplers and waveguides are proposed. This work consists of simulations and device design, as well as the layout for the fabrication process, device fabrication, process development, characterization instrument development and electro-optical characterizations.The work demonstrates an alternative solution to costly silicon-on-insulator photonics. The proposed solution uses bulk silicon wafers and thin film deposited waveguides. Back-end deposited horizontal slot grating couplers and waveguides are realized by multi-layers of amorphous silicon and high-k materials.The achievements of this work include: A theoretical study of fully etched slot grating couplers with Al2O3, HfO2 and AIN, an optical study of the high-k films with spectroscopic ellipsometry, an experimental demonstration of fully etched SiO2 single slot grating couplers and double slot Al2O3 grating couplers, a practical demonstration of horizontal double slot high-k waveguides, partially etched Al2O3 single slot grating couplers, a study of a scheme for integration of the double slot Al2O3  waveguides with selectively grown germanium PIN photodetectors, realization of test chips for the integrated germanium photodetectors, and study of integration with graphene photodetectors through embedding the graphene into a high-k slot layer.From an application point of view, these high-k slot waveguides add more functionality to the current silicon photonics. The presented devices can be used for low cost photonics applications. Also alternative optical materials can be used in the context of this photonics platform.With the robust design, the grating couplers result in improved yield and a more cost effective solution is realized for integration of the waveguides with the germanium and graphene photodetectors.