Integrating MEMS in Silicon Photonics

Date: 18th October 2022
Time: 4:00 pm
Location: University of Western Australia and Online (AEDT)
Online | TMOS Colloquium

Photonic Integrated Circuits take advantage of the tight integration of large counts of optical components on a single chip. With technology maturing, integration at very large scale is expected to unlock the potential in emerging concepts such as programmable integrated optics, photonic accelerators, neuromorphic computing, or quantum photonic integrated circuits.

Among the material platforms for photonic integrated circuits, silicon stands out, as it can leverage the optimized ecosystem and high performance of the microelectronics industry. While Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) are routinely used in consumer electronics, their large-scale integration in photonics has hitherto proven challenging. Prof. Niels Quack will summarize the integration of MEMS based on the advanced standardized Silicon Photonics iSiPP50G platform by IMEC, which he and his team have developed in the European H2020 project morphic. He will present experimental results on MEMS tunable couplers, switches, phase shifters, and spectral control with MEMS tunable ring resonators. Their devices can be operated with actuation voltages typically below 30 V, exhibit a footprint of less than 100 x 100 μm2, present insertion losses as low as < 0.3 dB, and electrical power consumption as low as 1 nW per device, with micro-second response times.

About the presenter

Niels Quack is Associate Professor for Micro- and Nanosystems in the School of Aerospace, Mechanical and Mechatronic Engineering at the University of Sydney, Australia. He received the M.Sc. degree from Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland in 2005 and the Dr.Sc. degree from Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich (ETH), Switzerland in 2010. From 2011 to 2015, he was Postdoctoral Researcher and Visiting Scholar with the Integrated Photonics Laboratory, Berkeley Sensor and Actuator Center, University of California, Berkeley, CA, USA. From 2014 to 2015, he was Senior MEMS Engineer with Sercalo Microtechnology, Neuchâtel, Switzerland. From 2015 to 2021, he was Swiss National Science Foundation funded Assistant Professor with Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), Switzerland. He has authored and co-authored more than 100 papers in leading technical journals and conferences. His research interests focus on micro- and nanosystems engineering, with an emphasis on exploring micro- and nanofabrication techniques, materials, and integration of mechanics and photonics at the micro- and nanoscale. These novel advanced micro- and nanosystems find applications in fiber-optical communication systems, imaging, quantum sensing, computing and information processing, sensors, and space communications. He is Steering Committee Member of the IEEE International Conference on Optical MEMS and Nanophotonics (OMN) and served as General Chair of the IEEE OMN 2018 and the Latsis Symposium 2019 on Diamond Photonics. He has served as Chairing Committee Member for the flagship conferences in the field, including ECOC, CLEO, SPIE OPTO, Transducers or MNE. He is associate editor of the IEEE Journal of Microelectromechanical Systems (JMEMS) and of the SPIE Journal of Optical Microsystems (JOM). He is a Senior Member of IEEE, Member of Optica (formerly OSA) and of SPIE.