Scientific Results

Second-harmonic generation in silicon waveguides strained by silicon nitride

Year: 2012

Authors: Cazzanelli M., Bianco F., Borga E., Pucker G., Ghulinyan M., Degoli E., Luppi E., Véniard V., Ossicini S., Modotto D., Wabnitz S., Pierobon R., Pavesi L.

Autors Affiliation: Nanoscience Laboratory, Department of Physics, University of Trento, via Sommarive 14, 38123 Povo, Trento, Italy; Advanced Photonics and Photovoltaics Unit, Bruno Kessler Foundation, via Sommarive 18, 38123 Povo, Trento, Italy; Istituto di Nanoscienze-CNR-S3, Dipartimento di Scienze e Metodi dell\’Ingegneria, Università di Modena e Reggio Emilia, via Amendola 2 Pad., Morselli, I-42122 Reggio Emilia, Italy; Department of Chemistry, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720, United States; Laboratoire des Solides Irradiés, Ecole Polytechnique, European Theoretical Spectroscopy Facility (ETSF), Route de Saclay, F-91128 Palaiseau, France; Department of Information Engineering, University of Brescia, via Branze 38, 25123 Brescia, Italy; CIVEN, via delle Industrie 5, I-30175, Venezia Marghera, Italy

Abstract: Silicon photonics meets the electronics requirement of increased speed and bandwidth with on-chip optical networks. All-optical data management requires nonlinear silicon photonics. In silicon only third-order optical nonlinearities are present owing to its crystalline inversion symmetry. Introducing a second-order nonlinearity into silicon photonics by proper material engineering would be highly desirable. It would enable devices for wideband wavelength conversion operating at relatively low optical powers. Here we show that a sizeable second-order nonlinearity at optical wavelengths is induced in a silicon waveguide by using a stressing silicon nitride overlayer. We carried out second-harmonic-generation experiments and first-principle calculations, which both yield large values of strain-induced bulk second-order nonlinear susceptibility, up to 40 pm V-1 at 2,300 nm. We envisage that nonlinear strained silicon could provide a competing platform for a new class of integrated light sources spanning the near-to mid-infrared spectrum from 1.2 to 10µm.

Journal/Review: NATURE MATERIALS

Volume: 11 (2)      Pages from: 148  to: 154

More Information: We acknowledge discussions and experimental help by P. Bettotti, A. Pitanti, B. Dierre, F. Enrichi, K. Fedus and A. Yeremian. This work was supported by the FU-PAT (Provincia Autonoma di Trento) project NAOMI, by a grant from Fondazione Cariplo no 2009-2730 and by Fondazione Cassa di Risparmio di Modena through the project \’Progettazione di materiali nanostrutturati semiconduttori per la fotonica, l\’energia rinnovabile e l\’ambiente\’. We also acknowledge the supercomputing facility CINECA for granted central processing unit time.
KeyWords: Harmonic generation; Information management; Light sources; Nitrides; Optical frequency conversion; Photonic devices; Photonics; Silicon nitride; Strained silicon; Waveguides, First principle calculations; Integrated light source; Material engineering; Mid-infrared spectra; Nonlinear silicon photonics; Second-order nonlinear susceptibility; Second-order nonlinearity; Third-order optical nonlinearities, Nonlinear optics
DOI: 10.1038/NMAT3200

Citations: 234
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