Silicon Photonics

Silicon-photonic devices represent the core elements for future compact and highly efficient telecommunication systems. Those devices exploit the integration of III-V IR optical sources with the design and manufacturing framework offered by the Silicon growth process commonly employed for consumer electronics products. To this aim, different integration strategies have been developed and optimized both at research and industry level. While from a performance perspective state-of-the-art devices show a clear advantage over conventional IR sources, their widespread adoption is still limited by their long-term reliability. Therefore, part of our research activity is aimed at characterizing and identifying the physical mechanisms responsible for the degradation of this novel family of devices during their useful lifetime. To this aim, we perform accelerated aging experiments during which we evaluate the changes induced by the degradation processes to the optical and electrical characteristics of the devices over time. Our experimental capabilities for the characterization of NIR optical sources include – not being limited to – C-V-T, C-f-T, I-V-T and L-I-T measurements (down to cryogenic temperatures), high-resolution/high-sensitivity optical spectroscopy and Deep-Level Transient Spectroscopy (DLTS) analysis. Our network of collaborations in this research field offers us the possibility of evaluating the performance and robustness of current state-of-the-art experimental devices