A modular laboratory curriculum with exercises for students and lesson plans for teachers is presented. Fundamentals of basic integrated photonic (IP) devices can be taught, first as a lecture-in-the-lab followed by “hands-on” laboratory measurements. This comprehensive curriculum utilizes data collected from the “AIM Photonics Institute PIC education chip” that was designed specifically for the purpose of education, and was fabricated at AIM SUNY Poly. Training using this modular curriculum will be performed through the AIM Photonics Academy network in New York (NY) and Massachusetts (MA), either as a full semester course or as a condensed boot-camp. A synergistic development and delivery of this curriculum will coherently leverage multiple resources across the network and can serve as a model for education and workforce development in other Manufacturing USA institutes, as well as for overseas partners.
Silicon-based photonics is mobilizing into a manufacturing industry with specialized integrated circuit design requirements for applications in low power cloud computing, high speed wireless, smart sensing, and augmented imaging. The AIM Photonics Manufacturing USA Institute, which operates the world’s most advanced 300mm semiconductor research fab, has co-developed a Process Design Kit (PDK) in fabless circuit design for these expanding digital and analog applications; however, there currently isn’t available an in-depth curriculum to train engineers (academia, industry) in the AIM PDK process and Electronic Photonic Design Automation (EPDA) software. AIM Photonics Academy, an education initiative of AIM Photonics based at MIT, has collaborated with faculty to create three online MOOC edX courses that (1) introduce integrated photonics devices, and applications performance needs and metrics; and (2) train into the AIM PDK and specialized EPDA tools in a six week design project to lay out an application-specific photonic transceiver. The courses are structured around asynchronous video lectures and exploratory design problems that involve Python and Matlab-based first-principles calculations (systems modeling) or advanced EPDA tools (circuit design and layout). The online MOOC courses can optionally form a tandem blended learning component with two AIM Photonics Academy on-site training programs: the annual AIM Summer Academy one-week intensive program (held every July at MIT), or a photonic integrated circuit testing workshop (the first workshop is planned for fall 2019). These courses are a cornerstone effort at AIM to found and support a specialized cohort community of future integrated photonics designers.
There is large industry demand for qualified engineers and technicians in photonics advanced manufacturing. Current workforce training methods require expensive state-of-the-art laboratory equipment, as well as commercial licenses for photonic design software, which can be prohibitively costly for many universities. Virtual laboratories and Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) can help fill this training gap by providing a scalable approach to photonics workforce education for an international audience. In this project, AIM Photonics Academy—the education initiative of AIM Photonics, a Manufacturing USA Institute—is creating a virtual laboratory to enable self-directed learning for the emerging photonics workforce. Students learn photonic device and circuit modeling in a 3D online virtual lab environment with interactive simulations of micron-scale photonic visualizations. An intuitive interface highlights the most critical device design parameters and their optimal operational settings for applications in Datacom, wireless communication, sensing, and imaging. Simulations include silicon waveguide propagation and loss, radial waveguide bends, and directional couplers for photonic integrated circuits (PICs). In spring of 2019, AIM Academy has integrated these simulations into an online course focused on PIC-chip design, with a fundamentals course expected in fall of 2019. Additionally, these online tools will be used in a blended learning curriculum in 2020 to train engineers and technicians in semiconductor design, testing and packaging for photonics applications. Following online module completion, students can take blended learning on-site workshops at affiliated university laboratories to capitalize on their simulated training with hands-on experiments in chip design, packaging, and optical or electrical testing.
Room temperature photoluminescence (RT PL) has been obtained from Er<SUB>2</SUB>O<SUB>3</SUB> thin films fabricated via reactive sputtering of Er metal in Ar/O<SUB>2</SUB> and subsequently annealed. Upon annealing, the PL spectra develop maxima at 1549 nm and 1541 nm for films treated at 650 degrees C and 1020 degrees C, respectively. Crystallization at high temperature results in RT PL and a lifetime of approximately 10 ms at 4K.
SC817: Silicon Photonics
Silicon Microphotonics is a platform for the large scale integration of CMOS electronics with photonic components. This course will evaluate the most promising silicon optical components and the path to electronic-photonic integration. The subjects will be presented in two parts: 1) Context: a review of optical interconnection and the enabling solutions that arise from integrating optical and electronic devices at a micron-scale, using thin film processing; and 2) Technology: case studies in High Index Contrast design for silicon-based waveguides, filters, photodetectors, modulators, laser devices, and an application-specific opto-electronic circuit. The course objective is an overview of the silicon microphotonic platform drivers and barriers in design or fabrication.
Silicon Photovoltaics (PV) compose the workhorse materials platform for contemporary solar cell devices, but their performance Figure-of-Merit (in Watts/$) underscores the compromised impact of this technology as an alternate energy solution. This course will cover 3rd Generation approaches to improving conversion efficiency and materials processing cost and manufacturing yield to create a more cost-competitive industry.
The subjects will be presented in two parts: 1) Context and Limitations: a brief review of 1st and 2nd Generation Si PV, the Shockley-Queisser fundamental limit, and manufacturing constraints; and 2) Technology Solutions: 3rd Generation case studies in spectrum management, concentrator PV, tandem multi-junctions, spectral splitting, intermediate band-gap doping, defect and substrate engineering, and recent "green photonic" solutions to manipulate the flow of incident light using waveguide or sub-wavelength structures. The course objective is a modernized overview of the silicon photovoltaic platform drivers and barriers to efficient design or fabrication.