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nanophotonic NEMS modulators in SOI

Main Researcher: Joris Roels

Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) is an attractive material system for passive nanophotonic components.
One of the routes to add more active functionality is mechanical motion. Nanoscale components that allow controlled mechanical motion are called NEMS (Nano Electro Mechanical Systems)
The goal of our research is to demonstrate some active photonic functions based on mechanical motion relying on mature SOI technology.

Possible applications are (small displacement) sensing, switching and modulators.

Spatial light modulator (actuated diffractive grating)
Spatial light modulator (actuated diffractive grating)

The pictures up here show an application that we are currently investigating: a spatial light modulator. It consists of an underetched diffraction grating that is actuated electro-mechanically.
Such a device could be a key component in Time-Of-Flight range finding systems.

a)measurement set-up b) device + typical measurement result
a)measurement set-up b) device + typical measurement result

Another route we are currently investigating is based on NEMS waveguide devices. The pictures up here show a typical device and measurement result. Displacement sensitivies in the order of 100pm/sqrt(Hz) and detectable vibration amplitudes of a few tens of picometers have been demonstrated with this approach.

Other people involved:

Related Research Projects

PhD thesises

Publications

    International Journals

  1. J. Roels, W. Van Der Tempel, D. Van Nieuwenhove, R. Grootjans, M. Kuijk, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets, Continuous Time-of-Flight ranging using a MEMS diffractive subwavelength period grating (de)modulator, Photonics Technology Letters, 20(22), p.1827-1829 (2008)  Download this Publication (254KB).
  2. I. Vlaminck, J. Roels, D. Taillaert, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets, L. Lagae, G. Borghs, Detection of nanomechanical motion by evanescent light wave coupling, Applied Physics Letters, 90, (2007)  Download this Publication (353KB).
      International Conferences

    1. J. Roels, W. Van der Tempel, D. Van Nieuwenhove, R. Grootjans, M. Kuijk, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets, A dynamic subwavelength pitch grating modulator for continuous Time-Of-Flight ranging with optical mixing, Optical MEMS&Nanophotonics 2008, Germany, p.176-177 (2008)  Download this Publication (302KB).
    2. W. van der Tempel, D. Van Nieuwenhove, R. Grootjans, Ljubomir Jovanov, J. Roels, Aleksandra Pizurica, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets, Wilfried Philips, Maarten Kuijk, State-of-the-art modulator approaches for Continuous Time-of-Flight range finding, IEEE/LEOS Symposium Benelux Chapter Proceedings,2007, Belgium, p.63-66 (2007)  Download this Publication (2.7MB).
    3. I. De Vlaminck, J. Roels, D. Taillaert, D. Van Thourhout, L. Lagae, R. Baets, G. Borghs, Integrated nanomechanical motion detection by evanescent light-wave coupling, SPIE Photonics West (MOEMS/MEMS), United States, (2007)  Download this Publication (3.3MB).
    4. J. Roels, I. De Vlaminck, D. Van Thourhout, L. Lagae, D. Taillaert, R. Baets, A nanophotonic NEMS-modulator in Silicon-on-Insulator, 2006 Annual Symposium of the IEEE/LEOS Benelux Chapter, Netherlands, (2006)  Download this Publication (826KB).
    5. J. Roels, D. Van Thourhout, R. Baets, Nanophotonic NEMS modulators in Silicon-on-insulator, ePIXnet Winter School, Optoelectronic Integration - Technology and Applications, Switzerland, p.75 (2006)  Download this Publication (541KB).
        National Conferences

      1. J. Roels, I. De Vlaminck, D. Van Thourhout, L. Lagae, D. Taillaert, R. Baets, A nanophotonic NEMS-modulator in silicon-on-insulator, 7e UGent-FirW Doctoraatssymposium, interactive poster session, Belgium, p.paper nr. 19 (2006)  Download this Publication (534KB).

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