Silicon Photonics

Silicon photonics is a major technology development in integrated optics, where the goal is to take the substantial manufacturing knowledge that exists for processing silicon for electronics and apply it to making integrated optical devices.  There are many major corporations, start-up companies, and universities dedicated to realizing this vision and many products are now in the market place. 

CIAN has focused its silicon photonics efforts on

1) identifying subsystems, such as optical add-drop nodes, that can be completely realized on a silicon photonic chip;

2)  Realizing unique functionalities on a silicon chip, such as low insertion loss high port count optical switches and spatial mode switching;

3)  Bringing new materials to the silicon photonic platform to provide improvements such as reduced thermal sensitivity as well as direct incorporation of III-V lasers

This research has essential applicability to the CIAN mission of creating the CIAN chip which will revolutionize the Internet as we know it. The CIAN chip and additional research into silicon photonics manufacturing, and specific component functionalities are all aspects of the research that will aim to create a more seamless, less expensive, and efficient Internet.

CIAN’s collaboration of universities works to develop each section of this chip using integrated optics and photonics. Click on the different sections of the image of the CIAN chip to learn more about each group’s research. Additionally, more information about the different research topics is included in the links below.

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         Silicon Photonics Manufacturing                                    Optical Switches



                Spatial-Mode Switching                                   Athermal Optical Add-drop Multiplexers      




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