Photonic integrated circuits are devices capable of integrating numerous optical and electronic components. These photonic integrated circuits are typically created with a wafer technology that utilizes photolithography to etch and place materials onto such substrates as those made of silicones, silicas or nonlinear crystal materials. One chip is able to host large, complex arrangements of various devices, making photonic integrated circuits a great solution for processes used by the semiconductor manufacturing company as well as other industries.
Photonic integrated circuits are used with a range of materials, which provide numerous technological functions:
- Indium Phosphide. This material is popular in the optical fiber communications industry. It is extremely effective in generating, switching and detecting components in the 1.3 to 1.6 m wavelength, which is perfect for data transmission.
- Silica Glass. Waveguides are distributed on a material such as this using various lithographic techniques. With silica glass, it is possible for waveguides to be embedded below the surface of the material, creating 3-D circuit designs, and it is also possible to create amplifiers and lasers.
- Silica on Silicon. With this optics technology, silicon wafer substrates are built upon, and allow for the use of a variety of microelectronics technologies. Using silica waveguides, couplers, filters, power splitters and combiners can be created, and can be connected using optical fibers. Silica on silicon allows for high production volumes and performance abilities.
- Lithium Niobate. This nonlinear crystal material works well for devices that require nonlinear functions, such as electro-optic modulators. Waveguides are used on substrates of this material using lithography. Doping also allows for the creation of amplifiers and lasers.
Various materials, such as the ones listed above, are carefully selected based on the wide range of benefits and limitations that they provide. Due to the ability to integrate multiple optical and electronic components, photonic integrated circuits can provide vast solutions, making it a strong semiconductor technology.
At Shin-Etsu MicroSi, a leading semiconductor manufacturing company, we provide our customers with the most advanced semiconductor technology available on the market. As a manufacturer of silicones, we can provide you with high quality substrates for use in a wide range of devices, including photonic integrated circuits. For more information, please call Shin-Etsu MicroSi today at (480) 893-8898 or contact us online.