Photonic integration is driven by the persistent growth of traffic and power consumption in data and telecommunication networks. Leveraging silicon-on-insulator (SOI) as a technological platform is beneficial in many respects: The high refractive index contrast allows for dense integration, and mature CMOS fabrication processes can be used for mass-production and seamless integration of photonic devices together with electronic circuitry. However, large-scale silicon photonic integration is still impeded by the lack of certain key functionalities. The indirect bandgap of silicon inhibits efficient light emission, and second-order nonlinear effects are negligible due to inversion symmetry of the crystal lattice. High-performance nanophotonic systems will therefore rely on hybrid integration of dedicated materials on silicon structures.
This talk will give an overview of silicon photonics and hybrid integration techniques. Ultra-fast low-power modulation in silicon-organic hybrid (SOH) structures will be presented, and future prospects of large-scale photonic integration will be discussed.