Photonics Research, Volume. 10, Issue 5, 05001290(2022)

Soliton frequency comb generation in CMOS-compatible silicon nitride microresonators

Author Affiliations
• 1State Key Laboratory of Optoelectronic Materials and Technologies, School of Electronics and Information Technology, Sun Yat-sen University, Guangzhou 510275, China
• 2e-mail: zhangyf33@mail.sysu.edu.cn
• 3e-mail: yusy@mail.sysu.edu.cn
• show less

The monolithic integration of soliton microcomb devices with active photonic components and high-frequency electronics is highly desirable for practical applications. Among many materials, silicon nitride ($SiNx$) waveguide layers prepared by low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD) have been the main platform for on-chip optical frequency comb generation. However, the high temperatures involved in LPCVD render it incompatible as a back-end process with complementary metal oxide semiconductor (CMOS) or active III-V compound semiconductor fabrication flows. We report the generation of coherent soliton frequency combs in micro-ring resonators fabricated in deuterated silicon nitride ($SiNx:D$) waveguides with a loss of 0.09 dB/cm. Deposited at 270°C by an inductance-coupled plasma chemical vapor deposition (ICP-CVD) process, the material preparation and fabrication flow are fully CMOS-compatible. These results enable the integration of silicon-nitride-based optical combs and photonic integrated circuits (PICs) on prefabricated CMOS and/or III-V substrates, therefore marking a major step forward in $SiNx$ photonic technologies.

1. INTRODUCTION

On-chip optical frequency combs could revolutionize a vast range of applications such as optical atomic clocks [1], astronomy [2,3], coherent optical communication [4,5], ultrafast distance measurements by means of LIDAR [69], spectroscopy [10], and integrated microwave photonics [11,12]. It could also be applied in optical neural computing [13,14] and quantum optics [15,16]. Silicon nitride ($SiNx$) has been the main platform for optical comb generation by way of Kerr nonlinearity as the material combines the lowest linear loss with a relatively high refractive index and strong Kerr effect among many material platforms [17]. $SiNx$ is widely used in microelectronic and photonic fabrication flows, making it a readily acceptable candidate for monolithic integration with active photonic components and high-frequency electronics, which would be key to the practical applications of optical comb sources.

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Yaozu Xie, Jiaqi Li, Yanfeng Zhang, Zeru Wu, Shihao Zeng, Shuqing Lin, Zhaoyang Wu, Wenchao Zhou, Yujie Chen, Siyuan Yu. Soliton frequency comb generation in CMOS-compatible silicon nitride microresonators[J]. Photonics Research, 2022, 10(5): 05001290

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Paper Information

Category: Integrated Optics

Received: Jan. 27, 2022

Accepted: Mar. 17, 2022

Published Online: Apr. 27, 2022

The Author Email: Yanfeng Zhang (zhangyf33@mail.sysu.edu.cn), Siyuan Yu (yusy@mail.sysu.edu.cn)

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