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Efficient Integration or Direct Growth on SOI of Foundry-Scale CMOS Compatible Second Order Nonlinear Materials and/or Short-Wavelength Photonic Materials with Low Optical Loss


OUSD (R&E) CRITICAL TECHNOLOGY AREA(S): Quantum Science OBJECTIVE: Development of a foundry-compatible, direct growth in a Silicon on insulator (SOI) stack, second-order nonlinear material that can be that can be used for photon conversion and low loss waveguides. DESCRIPTION: Silicon on insulator (SOI) has been a growing standard platform for foundry-scale (300mm) integrated photonics. In that platform modulation and switching are done with mainly with thermal or carrier injection-based devices since silicon’s crystalline structure is centrosymmetric and therefore does not have a second-order nonlinearity. These methods of modulation are either slow (thermal) or lossy (carrier injection) and for low loss demanding applications such as quantum photonics make the systems tough to scale. Secondly, for quantum or frequency conversion applications silicon or silicon nitride gives no native access to the second order nonlinearity (unless acquired through electric field induced changes or strain tuning) and therefore must rely on the weaker third order nonlinearity. The ability to have a second order nonlinear material would allow for efficient photon generation/conversion, as well as high speed low-loss optical modulation for classical and quantum applications. The goal of this effort is to identify, develop, and demonstrate second order nonlinear materials that operate in the visible and infrared (400-1700nm) and can be directly integrated with the foundry scale SOI platform. PHASE I: Identify a set of second order nonlinear materials that are foundry compatible with the 300mm SOI platform. Demonstrate on the small scale (<300mm) the integration of these materials on an SOI platform. The information and research conducted during the Phase 1 will be delivered as a final report. Phase I Base amount must not exceed $295,000 for a 12-month period of performance. PHASE II: Demonstration of the integration of foundry capable second order nonlinear materials on the 300mm SOI platform. The required deliverables for the demonstration are analysis and data of the material quality on the SOI platform, development and demonstration of devices that show the modulation and switching capabilities of the material, and development and demonstration of devices that show nonlinear photon generation and conversion. The samples will be delivered to the DoD for further analysis along with a plan to transition to a foundry. Phase II Base amount must not exceed $1,300,000 for a 24-month period of performance and the Option amount must not exceed $650,000 for a 12-month period of performance. PHASE III DUAL USE APPLICATIONS: The resulting efforts under Phase II can be transitioned to commercial applications for high-speed data encoding for optical communication applications, and lidar applications. These applications are relevant as well to the DoD. The research can be transitioned for the use of entangled photon generation for quantum communication, quantum networking, entanglement distribution, and quantum computing. REFERENCES: 1. Lu, T.J., Fanto, M., Choi, H., Thomas, P., Steidle, J., Mouradian, S., Kong, W., Zhu, D., Moon, H., Berggren, K. and Kim, J., 2018. Aluminum nitride integrated photonics platform for the ultraviolet to visible spectrum. Optics express, 26(9), pp.11147-11160. 2. Fan, R., Lin, YY., Chang, L. et al. Higher order mode supercontinuum generation in tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5) channel waveguide. Sci Rep 11, 7978 (2021). KEYWORDS: Integrated photonics; second-order nonlinearity; optical waveguides; foundry compatible; low loss waveguides; visible integrated photonics
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