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Spotlight: Si-CMOS compatible materials and devices for mid-IR microphotonics

Analysis of Threshold Current Behavior for Bulk and Quantum-Well Germanium Laser Structures

Single-Crystal Germanium Growth on Amorphous Silicon

Photonic crystal structures for light trapping in thin-film Si solar cells: Modeling, process and optimizations

Engineering broadband and anisotropic photoluminescence emission from rare earth doped tellurite thin film photonic crystals

Athermal Designs

 Winnie N. Ye, Rong Sun, Jurgen Michel, Lionel C. Kimerling

Temperature stability is extremely important in device operation, especially for devices in materials with large thermo-optic coefficient such as silicon. There has been an enormous amount of research in reducing the device temperature sensitivity. The most common method introduces heaters/coolers for temperature control. However such method demands higher cost and power budget. In addition, special polymers with negative thermo-optic coefficient have been studied for compensating the thermal effects[1]. This approach is constrained by the availability of the resources and technology. In the current study we propose the use of stress engineering to achieve athemal device performance.

The thermo-optic effect defines the temperature dependency in material refractive index (n); that is,

Δn = BΔT          (1)

where ΔT is temperature change and B is the thermo-optic coefficient which depends on the index, wavelength, and temperature. The thermo-optic coefficient of silicon is on the order of 10e-4/K, while that of silica is ~10e-5/K. A 100K temperature fluctuation will cause a 10e-2 increase in the refractive index of silicon by the thermo-optic effect alone. Thus it is necessary to find an efficient way to reduce or compensate the drastic change. Recently, stress engineering has shown promising potential in controlling the refractive index in optical devices via photoelastic effect[2-5], which relates the stress distribution to the effective index; that is,

Δn = CΔσ          (2)

where C is the photoelastic constant which depends on the material type and wavelength, and Δσ is the change in stress distribution. Stress (Δσ) is a result of the mismatch in the thermal expansion coefficients between the substrate and its coating film. The temperature dependence in device performance could be effectively compensated by choosing materials with a high photoelastic and a low thermo-optic constant, as can be seen from Eqs. (1) and (2).

1. N. Keil, H. H. Yao, C. Zawadzki, J. Bauer, M. Bauer, C. Dreyer, and J. Schneider, "Athermal all-polymer arrayed waveguide grating multiplexer," Electron. Lett., 37 pp. 579-580, (2001).

2. M.Huang, "Thermal-stress effects on the temperature sensitivity of optical waveguides," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B, 20 (6), pp. 1326-1333, 2003.

3. N. Ooba et al., "Athermal silica-based AWG multiplexer using bimetal plate temperature compensator," Electron. Lett., 36, 1800 (2000).

4. J. Hasegawa et al., "Ultra-wide temperature range (-30-70C) operation of athermal AWG module using pure aluminum plate,", Opt. Fiber Comm. Conf, 2006.

5. D. A. Cohen et al., "Reduced temperature sensitivity of the wavelength of a diode laser in a stress-engineered hydrostatic package," Appl. Phys. Lett., 69, 455 (1996).

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