My research involves the design and fabrication of microphotonic devices, with a view towards integration of optical devices on silicon electronics platforms. The long term goal is the monolithic integration of complex optical functionalities (light sources, detectors, spectrometers, amplifiers etc.) with silicon CMOS, microfluidic, and MEMs circuitry. To date, the work is mainly concerned with the development of new optical materials, new microfabrication processes, and new optical devices. Key themes include light emitting materials, high index contrast waveguides, microcavities, and photonic bandgap devices.
Current research activities are focused on integrated hollow (air core) waveguides. These waveguides have potential applications to lab on chip systems, as well as for signal distribution on chips and chip-based atomic physics studies. New approaches for the fabrication of these waveguides using standard silicon-based thin film materials are under development. Potential applications under study include:
Basic optical properties of crystalline and amorphous semiconductor materials: energy band diagrams, optical constants. Recombination and light emission in semiconductors. Light emitting diodes: spectral characteristics, materials, and applications. Stimulated emission and laser oscillation conditions in semiconductors. Laser diodes: modal and spectral properties, steady state rate equations, materials and structures. Light absorption, optical to electrical energy conversion. Photovoltaic cells: fill factors and efficiency, temperature effects, alternative materials and structures. Prerequisite: ECE 302 or E E 340. Credit may be obtained in only one of ECE 475 or E E 475.Winter Term 2021