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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Silicon photonic filters for wavelength-division multiplexing and sensing applications Wei, Shi


This thesis is a theoretical and experimental study of novel silicon photonic filters, such as traveling-wave resonators (TWRs) and grating-assisted, contra-directional couplers (contra-DCs), for on-chip wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) systems and sensing applications. To measure optical losses of photonic components such as Y-branch splitters and waveguide crossings, we have developed a ring-resonator based technique which is accurate, simple, and space-efficient. A number of novel devices have been demonstrated using commercial CMOS-photonics fabrication foundries, with the aim of developing large-scale photonic integrated circuits using the standard process development tools. Two types of wavelength-selective, TWR-based reflective filters have been demonstrated for applications such as remote sensing and tunable lasers. Ultra-compact, high-Q microdisk resonators have been demonstrated, with radii of down to 1.5 µm, free spectral ranges (FSRs) of up to 71 nm, loaded Q's of up to 88,000, and unloaded Q's of over 100,000. Contra-DCs have been studied using coupled-mode theory. An add-drop filter designed using contra-DCs in slab-modulated rib waveguides has been proposed and demonstrated, which shows a flat-top response and a narrow bandwidth of 50--100 GHz, promising for dense-WDM applications. Also, we proposed an out-of-phase grating design to suppress the intra-waveguide reflection in contra-DCs. Using this novel anti-reflection (AR) design, we have demonstrated an add-drop filter with a single-band, flat-top response and a wide channel bandwidth of 6.5 nm, which enables athermal operation in a large temperature span of > 70 K. This AR contra-DC can be used to build an on-chip coarse-WDM system for power-efficient, ultra-high-speed optical interconnects. Furthermore, we have proposed and demonstrated an electrically tunable phase-shifted contra-DC. In order to overcome the challenges facing microring resonators, such as limited FSRs and difficulty in controlling the bus-resonator coupling, we have proposed to integrate contra-DCs with microring resonators for selective bus-resonator coupling. Using this method, we have demonstrated a single dominant resonant mode in a microring resonator that originally has a small FSR of 1.3 nm. This grating-coupled microring resonator is promising for applications that need a huge free spectral range, such as cascaded resonator sensor arrays and ultra-high-bandwidth WDM systems.

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