Photonic packaging: transforming silicon photonic integrated circuits into photonic devices

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Dedicated multi-project wafer (MPW) runs for photonic integrated circuits (PICs) from Si foundries mean that researchers and small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) can now afford to design and fabricate Si photonic chips. While these bare Si-PICs are adequate for testing new device and circuit designs on a probe-station, they cannot be developed into prototype devices, or tested outside of the laboratory, without first packaging them into a durable module. Photonic packaging of PICs is significantly more challenging, and currently orders of magnitude more expensive, than electronic packaging, because it calls for robust micron-level alignment of optical components, precise real-time temperature control, and often a high degree of vertical and horizontal electrical integration. Photonic packaging is perhaps the most significant bottleneck in the development of commercially relevant integrated photonic devices. This article describes how the key optical, electrical, and thermal requirements of Si-PIC packaging can be met, and what further progress is needed before industrial scale-up can be achieved.
Photonics packaging , Silicon photonics , Integrated optics , Optoelectronics , Photonic integrated circuits (PICs)
Carroll, L., Lee, J.-S., Scarcella, C., Gradkowski, K., Duperron, M., Lu, H., Zhao, Y., Eason, C., Morrissey, P., Rensing, M., Collins, S., Hwang, H. and O’Brien, P. (2016) 'Photonic Packaging: Transforming Silicon Photonic Integrated Circuits into Photonic Devices', Applied Sciences, 6(12), 426 (21 pp). doi:10.3390/app6120426