Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
The continuous reduction of feature size in silicon-based electronic integrated circuits (ICs) is accompanied by devastating propagation delay time and power consumption that have become known as the “Interconnect Bottleneck”. Optical interconnection is a proposed solution that is poised to revolutionize the data transmission both within and between ICs. By forming the optical transmission and functional elements from silicon, they can be monolithically incorporated with standard ICs using the established CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) infrastructure with minimal incremental cost. A key required functional element is the photodetector, which provides optical-toelectrical conversion of signals. In this thesis, a method of achieving such conversion is explored, which uses the optical absorption at 1550 nm wavelengths provided by lattice defects. The physics governing defect-enhanced silicon waveguide photodiode operation is described, and a device model is used to verify the posited detection process and propose design improvements. The model was used to design a novel photodetector structure using a waveguide formed by the LOCOS (LOCal Oxidation of Silicon) process with a poly-silicon self-aligned contact. The fabricated device exhibited a responsivity of 47 mA/W, providing an improvement over previous devices of similar dimensions, although were ultimately limited by the quality of the poly-silicon/silicon interface. A sub-micron waveguide photodiode fabrication process using electron-beam lithography was developed, which produced photodiodes with responsivities of 490 mA/W. This process was used to integrate photodiodes onto micro-ring resonators, which exhibit resonant enhanced photocurrent. The physics of this enhancement were explored, and found to produce a 50 μm long resonant photodiode of responsivity equal to that of a 3 mm long non-resonant photodiode. Lastly, the integration of such sub-micron photodiodes as functioning power monitors throughout photonic circuits was demonstrated as a means to characterize and tune micro-rings during operation.
Logan, Dylan, "Defect-enhanced Silicon Photodiodes for Photonic Integrated Circuits" (2011). Open Access Dissertations and Theses. Paper 6110.
McMaster University Library