Acta Photonica Sinica, Volume. 52, Issue 11, 1113001(2023)

Research Progress in Optoelectronics Integration Technology Based on Piezoelectric Effect(Invited)

Jian SHEN, Chenglong FENG, Xun ZHANG, Lei ZHANG, Chang SHU, Yong ZHANG*, and Yikai SU**
Author Affiliations
  • Department of Electronic Engineering,State Key Lab of Advanced Optical Communication Systems and Networks,Shanghai Jiao Tong University,Shanghai 200240,China
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    Optical communication and interconnection technology utilize photons instead of electrons as information carrier, enabling large-capacity and high-speed information transmission. Silicon-based photonics integrated circuits are expected to promote the breakthroughs for the optoelectronics chips in the“post-Moore era”due to its advantages of small size, high integration, low power consumption, and compatibility with the Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor (CMOS) process. So far, optoelectronic integrated chips based on silicon platforms have achieved tremendous success in industries such as coherent optical communication. However, central symmetric structures represented by silicon lack linear and high-order nonlinear effects, posing a natural disadvantage in the design and fabrication of low-power tuning devices, high-speed modulation devices, and nonlinear devices. In order to meet the low-power-consumption, high-efficiency, and large-scale integration requirements for the next generation of optoelectronic integrated chips, it is necessary to explore new effects and new thin-film materials for the development of integrated optoelectronic devices.Piezoelectric effect is an important physical phenomenon that realizes the conversion between electrical energy and mechanical energy. Some specific crystalline materials generate positive and negative charges when external mechanical force or pressure is applied, creating an electric field. When an external electric field is applied to these crystalline materials, they undergo deformation, resulting in a change in refractive index. Thanks to the progress and maturity of thin film growth and deposition techniques such as Atomic Layer Deposition (ALD) and Molecular Beam Epitaxy (MBE), many low-loss, high-piezoelectric-coefficient thin films have been prepared and realized, such as aluminum nitride (AlN), lead zirconate titanate (PZT), hafnium dioxide (HfO2), lithium niobate (LN), etc. Optical tuning based on the piezoelectric effect is a consequence of the electric field influence. Compared to thermos-optic modulation in silicon materials, piezoelectric-driven power consumption can be reduced by three to five orders of magnitude, which is of great significance for achieving low-power-consumption and large-scale optoelectronic integrated chips in applications with response frequencies ranging from KHz to GHz. Researchers have successfully developed a series of optoelectronic integrated devices through heterogeneous integration, dry etching, spin-coating polarization, and other technical approaches. These devices exhibit outstanding characteristics, including ultra-low power consumption, high efficiency, and rapid response, providing unique advantages in silicon-based optoelectronic integrated devices. Some of these materials are already compatible with CMOS processes and have shown rapid development, with promising applications demonstrating their excellent potential.An external electric field can manipulate the deformation of the thin film material by the piezoelectric effect, thereby changing the refractive index and achieving electro-optic tuning and acousto-optic modulation. This paper starts by providing an overview of the ongoing research efforts in common piezoelectric thin-film materials, including AlN, PZT, HfO2, and LN. We focus on the preparation methods and crystal orientations of the reported piezoelectric thin films. The effects of elemental doping and process conditions on the piezoelectric properties of various types of films are summarized. Subsequently, it delves into a comprehensive review and discussion of integrated photonic devices founded on piezo-optomechanical actuators, consisting of low-power-consumption piezo-optomechanically tuning devices and acousto-optic modulators. We analyze the principles of low-power-consumption piezoelectric tunable devices and summarize the performance of tunable devices (e.g., tuning efficiency, tuning power consumption, footprint, propagation loss, and response time) on different piezoelectric thin-film platforms, such as hybrid PZT-Si waveguide, PZT-SiN waveguide, AlN-SiN waveguide, and HfO2-Si waveguide. Since surface acoustic waves and light waves are confined well in the photonic integrated circuits, the coupling between the acoustic and optical fields will be significantly enhanced. We summarize the design structure, modulation efficiency, conversion efficiency, and excitation frequency of these acousto-optic modulators. Finally, the paper introduces and looks forward to the application of piezoelectric tuning devices and acousto-optic modulators, and analyzes the challenges and problems in their large-scale application. Photonic integrated chips based on the piezoelectric thin films play an important role in the applications such as optical computing, optical frequency comb generation, and LIDAR, providing a valuable solution with low power consumption. With the increasing maturity of integrated photonics technology and fabrication technology for the piezoelectric thin film, the optoelectronic integration technology based on piezoelectric effect shows good application prospects.


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    Jian SHEN, Chenglong FENG, Xun ZHANG, Lei ZHANG, Chang SHU, Yong ZHANG, Yikai SU. Research Progress in Optoelectronics Integration Technology Based on Piezoelectric Effect(Invited)[J]. Acta Photonica Sinica, 2023, 52(11): 1113001

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    Paper Information

    Category: Integrated Optics

    Received: Oct. 1, 2023

    Accepted: Nov. 6, 2023

    Published Online: Dec. 22, 2023

    The Author Email: ZHANG Yong (, SU Yikai (