"Silicon Photonics: From Device Innovation to Large-Scale System Integration"

Jie Sun, Postdoctoral Researcher at the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) of MIT

February 27th (Thursday), 2:00pm
Engineering Science Building (ESB), Room 2001

The field of silicon photonics, where CMOS-compatible materials and processing techniques are used to build optical devices and photonic integrated circuits (PICs), has seen significant progresses in the last two decades. As the fundamental building blocks of PICs, a variety of high-performance silicon photonic devices have been demonstrated in the last ten years, from hybrid silicon lasers through electrooptic modulators to optical detectors. The silicon photonic device library is now rich and nearly complete, leading silicon photonics to an inflection point similar to where microelectronic technology was in the 1960s: the single device is good enough and large-scale system integration is yet to come.

My talk is hence comprised of two parts. In the first part, I will briefly talk about several silicon photonic devices, where novel electromagnetic and photonic designs were utilized to improve the device performances such as wavelength accuracy and thermooptic efficiency. In the second part, I will demonstrate several examples of large-scale silicon photonic integrated circuits, where a large number of silicon photonic elements (up to 4000) were successfully integrated on a silicon chip to perform functions such as steering optical beams, creating holograms, and generating arbitrary optical beamforms. These large-scale silicon PICs provide evidences that silicon photonic system integration at the same level as microelectronics is indeed achievable, and that ‘the large-scale integration of photonic circuitry in silicon has well and truly arrived’.

About Jie Sun:

photo of jie sun Jie Sun is currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at the Research Laboratory of Electronics (RLE) of MIT, where he is working with Professor Michael R. Watts on nanophotonic devices and integrated systems. He received his doctorate in Electrical Engineering from MIT in 2013, where he worked on nanofabrication and nanophotonics with Professors Henry I. Smith and Michael R. Watts. He received his MS and BS in Electronic Engineering from Tsinghua University, Beijing, China in 2007. He recently received the Dimitris N. Chorafas Foundation Award for his doctoral thesis ‘Toward accurate and large-scale silicon photonics’.

Hosted by: Professor Larry Coldren