How to develop products with PICs

A JakajimaTV talk hosted by Pieter Hermans with Ivana Sersic Vollenbroek, Project Manager at Demcon Advanced Mechatronics.

She talks about her experience in product development with Photonic Integrated Circuits, which has certain implications like the need for custom made electronics and others.

Comparison to electronic integration (source Wikipedia)
Unlike electronic integration where silicon is the dominant material, system photonic integrated circuits have been fabricated from a variety of material systems, including electro-optic crystals such as lithium niobate, silica on silicon, Silicon on insulator, various polymers and semiconductor materials which are used to make semiconductor lasers such as GaAs and InP. The different material systems are used because they each provide different advantages and limitations depending on the function to be integrated. For instance, silica (silicon dioxide) based PICs have very desirable properties for passive photonic circuits such as AWGs (see below) due to their comparatively low losses and low thermal sensitivity, GaAs or InP based PICs allow the direct integration of light sources and Silicon PICs enable co-integration of the photonics with transistor based electronics.[3]

The fabrication techniques are similar to those used in electronic integrated circuits in which photolithography is used to pattern wafers for etching and material deposition. Unlike electronics where the primary device is the transistor, there is no single dominant device. The range of devices required on a chip includes low loss interconnect waveguides, power splitters, optical amplifiers, optical modulators, filters, lasers and detectors. These devices require a variety of different materials and fabrication techniques making it difficult to realize all of them on a single chip.

Newer techniques using resonant photonic interferometry is making way for UV LEDs to be used for optical computing requirements with much cheaper costs leading the way to petahertz PHz consumer electronics.

Ivana will speak at the Photonic Integration Conference, October 2020, where she will share her experience in two productdevelopment projects with PICs.

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