The monolithic integration of CMOS microelectronics with photonics is inevitable and benefits both technologies. Photonic integration to microelectronics provides such solutions as overcoming microprocessor communication roadblocks through the use of optical interconnection. Microelectronic integration can provide benefits to photonic structures by optimizing electronic signals generated by photonic biosensors for example. Photonic integration must complement, build on, and enhance the existing state of CMOS microelectronic technology. Photonic approaches that ignore the realities of CMOS architectures (such as power and thermal limitations), provide little benefit to the CMOS device performance, are incompatible with CMOS silicon manufacturing processes, or are incapable of achieving levels of long term reliability already well demonstrated by microelectronic devices, give little reason for photonic/microelectronic integration. Practical implementation of photonics on chip, monolithically with CMOS type microelectronic devices, remains in the laboratory.
This work presents architectures to integrate photonics and microelectronics that address CMOS fabrication realities, increase performance of both the electronic and optical functions, and retain current levels of reliability. Fabricating these structures with the limited CMOS material set and/or typical photonic materials requires materials to be molecularly engineered to provide required properties. Materials have been investigated that enable economic fabrication of photonic structures for monolithic integration. Low loss self assembled silicon nanocomposite VIPIR waveguide structures are combined with long term stable non-linear poled polymers for fabrication of electro-optic active devices. Materials are fabricated using low temperature plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD).