IEEE Photonics Technology Letters

Passive photonics in an unmodified CMOS technology with no post-processing required

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Passive photonic components consisting of sub-micrometer waveguides, grating couplers, and ring resonators are demonstrated in an unmodified commercial complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) process. Waveguides demonstrate propagation losses of approximately 1 dB/mm at 1.3-μ m wavelengths. Grating couplers achieve better than-5.8\hbox-dB coupling efficiencies. Ring resonators exhibit Qs greater than 5000 with extinction ratios of more than 20 dB. Furthermore, due to the utilization of front-end-of-the-line design layers for creating the waveguide cores coupled with a relatively thick buried-oxide layer standard within the process, no post-processing is required at the chip or wafer level to achieve the reported device performance. Hence, for the first time, designers without processing capabilities may design custom CMOS photonic circuits for a broad range of applications. One such application which may appropriately leverage the low-cost platform could be disposable bio-photonic sensor arrays. © 2013 IEEE.