Low noise all optical switch and GeSn laser for silicon photonics

Date of Award


Degree Name

M.S. in Electro-Optics


Department of Electro-Optics and Photonics


Advisor: Imad Agha


Silicon based electronics revolutionized the second half of the 20th centenary. Moore's law has been successfully predicting the growth of integrated circuits for more than 40 years, but the trend has slowed down. To keep meeting with the ever so strong demands, new breakthroughs are keenly needed. With the inspiring success of optical communication technology, many researchers believe this breakthrough relies on bringing optics onto silicon chips. This leads to the study of silicon photonics. All optical switches are one of the versatile components in silicon photonics. In optical interconnections, where on chip metal wires are replaced by waveguides, it can route the signals to the right destination. Compared with traditional optical switches, an all optical switch requires less power and generates less heat, which qualities are highly valued for large data center and high performance computing applications. In the future optical computing systems, it can serve as the logic gates. It is also likely to find its place in the more advanced quantum communication networks. An electrically pumped on silicon chip laser is another fundamental component for silicon photonics. A semiconductor laser that can be reliably grown on silicon is not satisfactorily found. In this thesis, we demonstrate two promising devices that is useful for silicon photonics: A low noise all optical switch based on a third order nonlinear effect and a GeSn laser material that can be monolithically deposited onto silicon.


Nanosilicon, Optoelectronic devices Design and construction, Integrated optics, Nanophotonics, Optics, Physics, Nanotechnology, silicon photonics, four wave mixing, all-optical switch, GeSn

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