Building an optimized passive optical component library for silicon photonics platform

Ma, Yangjin
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University of Delaware
Silicon photonics has been intensively investigated in the past decade and has now become a promising platform for optical operations in light generation, routing, modulation and detection. One of the most important applications is integration in fiber communication systems with the potential to further reduce costs while improving the performance. Although active components such as modulators and detectors are crucial, small passive components that seem trivial are actually vital in high complex and high-density system level integration. On the one hand, small performance improvements in each passive component may aggregate quickly and make huge advantage for active components. On the other hand, well-performed passive devices may save a significant amount of extra controlling effort on the chip to improve energy efficiency and reduce cost off the chip. In this thesis, a comprehensive design work of passive Si photonics components will be presented, starting from basic building blocks such as waveguide crossing, y-junction, to application-specified devices for wavelength routing and polarization handling. Then systems such as a four-channel polarization insensitive wavelength-division multiplexing (PI-WDM) receiver enabled by such passive components will be discussed in detail. Performances beyond state-of-the-art have been achieved in most cases.