Hybrid silicon/silica photonics platform for low-power digital optoelectronic switching and logic devices
Air Force Office of Scientific Research (AFOSR)
04/15/2015 - 04/14/2018
We propose to develop low power, scalable optically bistable devices for optoelectronic computing. Optical computing has been a long-standing goal for physicists, but the large size and power consumption of the switching devices have previously limited their utility. With current sophisticated fabrication technology and newly discovered nonlinear and electro-optic materials, we are in a position to address both of these issues to realize practical optical computing devices. Our proposed photonic platform will be based on silicon or silica so that we can take advantage of the matured CMOS fabrication technology. The optical power reduction (upto ~100's of photons) will be achieved via material innovation, new cavity design and novel photonic device topology. The required optical power will be lowered both by using the strong nonlinearity as well as due to the cavity enhancement. We will go beyond a single device, to build an optical computing system with these devices. Although we will develop these low power optoelectronic devices primarily for optical computing, the developed technology will find applications in optical sensing, tunable photonics, and optical quantum information science.