A low-cost high-quality crystalline silicon-carbide-on-insulator platform for integrated photonics applications
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Owing to the advantages of high speed, low power consumption, and CMOS compatibility, silicon (Si) photonics has become a key technology in the fields of data-/tele-communication, sensing, and spectroscopy. However, conventional Si photonics meets challenges in emerging applications, including neuroscience, nonlinear photonics, and quantum information science, due to the limitation of optical bandwidth and the lack of required functionalities. Compared to Si, silicon carbide (SiC) is a better material in emerging fields because of its wide bandgap, excellent quantum properties, and good optical nonlinearity. Despite the increasing interest in SiC for integrated photonics applications, there is a lack of a high-quality SiC photonic platform that is both reliable and cost-effective. This thesis presents the efforts in developing a crystalline SiC-on-insulator (SiCOI) platform and SiC integrated photonic devices as building blocks that meet the emerging needs of integrated photonics applications. I will present the wafer bonding techniques developed to form a SiCOI platform that enables integrated SiC microresonators with record-high quality (Q) factors working over a wide bandwidth, from visible to near-infrared (NIR) wavelengths, which can dramatically enhance light-matter interactions in SiC. Towards the goal of achieving a fully integrated SiC photonics platform for applications such as quantum information processing, I will present the design, fabrication, and characterization of reconfigurable optical devices, on-chip light sources, and on-chip single-photon detectors on the SiCOI platform. These efforts are intended to realize wafer-level manufacturing of SiC photonic devices, paving the way towards the commercialization of integrated photonics solutions based on SiC.
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