Glass-photonics IC ioNext-NIR

IC Teem Photonics Glass Photonics technology

TECHNOLOGY CHARACTERISTICS:

If silicon is one of the main materials used by the integrated photonics industry – because it reuses the manufacturing processes in force in the microelectronic area –, glass is also the subject of all attention due to its optical characteristics: its transparency for visible to infrared wavelengths, its low refractive index, and its linear optical properties indeed allow, in comparison with silicon, to benefit from numerous advantages at the component scale, the reduction of input/output channels footprint, better performance for passive functions, the opportunity to operate in the visible area, and greater temperature stability.

By developing a process to manufacture waveguides on glass, branded ioNext, and based on an ion-exchange reaction, Teem Photonics gives CMP users the opportunity to take advantage of glass assets by having a wide variety of passive components – available in a design kit that can be used through the free access design software NAZCA – to design and manufacture photonics circuits combining routing, filtering and coupling functions. The ioNext platform adds two types of components which are entirely specific to it:
- Mode Field Diameter (MFD) converters to guarantee a low-loss coupling with optical fiber and, at the same time, low-footprint on-chip functions;
- surface waveguides to allow for the interaction of light with the chip surroundings, and thus to form the probe of an optical sensor.

Main features

Process:

  • Based on a local exchange of doping ions to define gradient-index waveguides at the wafer-level
  • Uses 60mm diameter glass wafers (will increase to 100mm soon)
  • Requires only one photolithography step

Operating range:

  • Bandwidth from 1520 to 1570nm
  • On-chip MFD of 4.2 x 3.2µm2
  • MFD converters at chip facet to match optical fibers’ MFD.

Performance:

  • Propagation loss of 0.15dB/cm at 1550nm
  • Minimum radius of curvature of 800µm

Building blocks

Interconnects:

  • Straight waveguide
  • Arc bend
  • S-bend

Optical functions:

  • I/O port
  • Spot size converter
  • Surface waveguide
  • 50/50 splitter
  • 50/50 directional coupler
  • Waveguide crossing
  • Mach-Zehnder interferometer
  • Evanescent coupling

Coming soon (in the course of 2021):

  • Polariser
  • Multiplexer
  • Filter

Glass-photonics chip manufacturing

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APPLICATION AREA:

  • Telecom and datacom
  • Optical sensing
  • Microscopy and inspection

SOFTWARE TOOLS:

NAZCA (free and open-source framework dedicated to photonics IC design)

TURNAROUND TIME:

1 month between the gds transmission and the chip delivery