Science and Engineering are the key paradigms for organizing a study of natural phenomena. Science, the active study, seeks to understand and predict. Engineering, the pro-active study, seeks to co-opt and re-purpose. Hand in hand, the study of Science and Engineering, as applied to materials, can be mapped by four significant milestones. These milestones chart the progress of EMAT graduate students through their education and research as they struggle, learn, master and, finally, bequeath answers...
... that raise new questions.
Figure: Prototype structure for a photonic crystal waveguide, fabricated using CVD deposition and UV lithographic processing tools.
Finally, the big picture. Discover, model, and design-to what do they amount?
Prototyping is the last step in our engineering study; where the researcher integrates the new knowledge set created through the design process by inventing a material or device with novel functionality. The prototype makes manifest future technology elements for Si Microphotonics; its successful demonstration in the form of novel materials, devices and integrated electronic-photonic circuits serves to advance the discipline. It is the culminating achievement of a research cycle and serves as the seed for new questions and the beginning of a new cycle of discover, model, design and prototype.
Past achievements in prototyping by the EMAT group include:
Prototype of photonic crystal waveguides that demonstrate above light-line propagation within silicon oxide cores, for the planar integrated Si platform.
Prototype of GHz-precision ring resonator filters, fabricated under 0.18 µm processing constraints. GHz-precision filter characteristics were achieved by trimming a polymerized hexamethyldisilane overcladding, using a controlled UV dose.
Prototype of an integrated waveguide-detector that has decoupled the efficiency of charge collection, from the efficiency of signal absorption, for the planar integrated Si platform and enabled a high responsivity, high-speed performance.