In this communication, authors report for the first time on the fabrication and testing of Si3N4 non-linear photonic circuits for CMOS-compatible monolithic co-integration with silicon-based optoelectronics. In particular, a novel process has been developed to fabricate low-loss crack-free Si3N4 750-nm-thick films for Kerr-based nonlinear functions featuring full thermal budget compatibility with existing Silicon photonics and front-end Si optoelectronics. Briefly, differently from previous and state-of-the-art works, our nonlinear nitride-based platform has been realized without resorting to commonly-used high-temperature annealing (~1200°C) of the film and its silica upper-cladding used to break N-H bonds otherwise causing absorption in the C-band and destroying its nonlinear functionality. Furthermore, no complex and fabrication-intolerant Damascene process - as recently reported earlier this year - aimed at controlling cracks generated in thick tensile-strained Si3N4 films has been used as well. Instead, a tailored Si3N4 multiple-step film deposition in 200-mm LPCVD-based reactor and subsequent low-temperature (400°C) PECVD oxide encapsulation have been used to fabricate the nonlinear micro-resonant circuits aiming at generating optical frequency combs via optical parametric oscillators (OPOs), thus allowing the monolithic co-integration of such nonlinear functions on existing CMOS-compatible optoelectronics, for both active and passive components such as, for instance, silicon modulators and wavelength (de-)multiplexers. Experimental evidence based on wafer-level statistics show nitride-based 112-μm-radius ring resonators using such low-temperature crack-free nitride film exhibiting quality factors exceeding Q >3 x 105, thus paving the way to low-threshold power-efficient Kerr-based comb sources and dissipative temporal solitons in the C-band featuring full thermal processing compatibility with Si photonic integrated circuits (Si-PICs).
Marco Casale, Sebastien Kerdiles, Pierre Brianceau, Vincent Hugues, Houssein El Dirani, and Corrado Sciancalepore, "Low-temperature crack-free Si3N4 nonlinear photonic circuits for CMOS-compatible optoelectronic co-integration," Proc. SPIE 10106, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XXI, 1010608 (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 30, 2017; Published: 16 February 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2249666.
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