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Proceedings Paper

Ultra-low energy switches based on silicon photonic crystals for on-chip optical interconnects
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Paper Abstract

Although switching techniques based on charge injection in silicon have progressed greatly in recent years, switching energies are still above 10 fJ/bit, which is considered the threshold for practical implementation in on-chip optical interconnects. This is due primarily to silicon's relatively weak electro-optic response, as well as the large physical extent of existing switching geometries, both of which increase the energy required to achieve switching. By using a resonant approach in which the optical mode is spatially tightly confined, however, the volume of active material is decreased, resulting in reduced switching energy. In this paper we report on the use of a thin MOS capacitor to inject charge into a resonator based on a photonic crystal microcavity. By injecting charge only into the volume in which the optical mode is localized, switching energy can be reduced below 1 fJ/bit. The index shift available (Δn ~ 0.001) allows the use of a relatively low-Q resonator (Q ~ 550), enabling high optical bandwidth of 100 Gbps with a device footprint below 25 μm2.

Paper Details

Date Published: 16 February 2010
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 7606, Silicon Photonics V, 76060R (16 February 2010); doi: 10.1117/12.843592
Show Author Affiliations
Sean P. Anderson, Univ. of Rochester (United States)
Philippe M. Fauchet, Univ. of Rochester (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 7606:
Silicon Photonics V
Joel A. Kubby; Graham T. Reed, Editor(s)

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