Research Seminar – Silicon photonics: a new revolution in miniature – 06/10/2023

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Research Seminar in Collaboration with the Department of Electronics and Biomedical Engineering

Silicon photonics: a new revolution in miniature

06/10/2023 at 11h at Aula Enric Cassases (Faculties of Physics and Chemistry UB)

(Chaired by Dr. Sònia Estradé)

Light technologies have revolutionized society by providing access to information, promoting sustainable development, and increasing societal health and well-being. In the last decades, silicon photonics has attracted an increasing attention among the scientific and industrial communities to implement integrated circuits capable of tackling complex tasks in compact and efficient systems. However, addressing the needs of these emerging applications requires developing key building blocks that are not feasible using conventional silicon-on-insulator waveguides.

Since their first demonstration in silicon photonics in 2006, subwavelength gratings (SWG) have proven to be a powerful tool for overcoming the performance limitations of conventional silicon photonic devices. SWG structures comprise periodic dispositions of core and cladding material with a period much smaller than the wavelength of the guided light. The resulting structure is perceived by the guided light as a homogenous metamaterial whose optical properties, including refractive index, dispersion and anisotropy, can be tuned by geometrical design. In this talk, we will give an overview of silicon photonics technology, current applications and emerging trends, with special emphasis on subwavelength metamaterial engineering.

Fig. 1: Three-dimensional schematic of a silicon SWG waveguide surrounded by a buried oxide (BOX) layer and a SiO2 upper cladding and the equivalent metamaterial defined by and equivalent refractive index (n_eq).

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Dr. David González Andrade developed his PhD at the Institute of Optics of the Spanish National Research Council (IO-CSIC) working on subwavelength metamaterials for silicon photonics. He joined the Center for Nanoscience and Nanotechnologies of France in 2021, where he is currently a Marie Skłodowska-Curie postdoctoral fellow. His research activities include the development of silicon photonic integrated circuits for applications in high-speed optical communications and the generation of high-quality radiofrequency signals based on Brillouin scattering. His work has resulted in 15 publications (10 as first author), 90 national and international conferences (37 invited presentations), and 7 patents applications (6 of which are licensed to a private company for exploitation).