Photonic Integration on Silicon Germanium
Start date: 01 Apr 2009,
End date: 31 Mar 2013
"Many of the true breakthroughs in our technology are related to materials and the understanding of their properties. Emergence of new semiconductor materials systems, especially in crystalline form, strongly shapes future photonics and electronics. Today, among such new promising material systems are crystalline Silicon/Germanium (Si/Ge) epitaxy. In these material systems, both academia and industry in the USA and the Far East seem to be making significant progress. It is thus crucial for Europe to invest and strengthen research efforts in these areas.Silicon is the most abundant element in the earth’s crust and dominates the microelectronics industry. Today Si based microelectronic technology sits on decades of processing experience and capital investment and offers advanced fabrication ability. In addition, silicon is widely used in optoelectronics in imaging (e.g., charged coupled devices―CCDs in the visible). Also, silicon finds wide-scale use in photovoltaics in optoelectronics. About 95% of the PV market is presently dominated by Si based solar cells. Although Si has been the dominant actor in electronics for a number of decades, only recently Si/Ge epitaxy has been possible to open up new opportunities both in electronics and photonics. For example, Si/Ge provides high mobility for high-speed transistors in electronics. Similarly, Si/Ge epitaxy allows for the fabrication of IR detector. To date SOI waveguides, Si based visible sensors and receivers have been successfully developed. Si/Ge platform is, however, not limited only to these devices and related applications and commercial interest. In this project, we aim to address this gap in the device product line of Si/Ge including efficient Si/Ge based light emitters, modulators, sub-wavelength IR detectors and multi-junction solar cells and expand their technological applications and commercial use critical both for Europe and around the globe."
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