Photonic Integrated Circuits

Photonic integrated circuits are a key technology of the 21st century in information and quantum technology. The optical transmission and processing of information can reduce energy consumption per bit by up to 90%. At the same time, exponentially higher data rates can be achieved through optical telecommunications. Moreover, photonic components are crucial for quantum technology and cryptographic communication as they generate or manipulate quantum bits. Fraunhofer ENAS, in collaboration with TU Chemnitz, is researching nanotechnologies for photonic integrated circuits. They have developed nanotechnology platforms at the wafer level to produce sub-wavelength structures. Additionally, they are developing photonic technology platforms for future telecommunications based on single-mode waveguides made of SiN, SiO2, and Si. Furthermore, Fraunhofer ENAS is working on photonic technology platforms for next-generation quantum systems based on optically nonlinear materials such as LiNb, LiTa, and AlN.

Chips with optical filters for telecommunications. In the optical couplers, light is captured and forwarded to single-mode waveguides at the chip level. The ring resonators filter out a specific wavelength of light. Thus, similar to FM broadcast radio, information of different frequencies can be separated. The wavelength of the technology platform ranges from the telecommunication frequency bands of 1260 nm to 1675 nm and can be adapted depending on the application.
Silicon nitride and aluminum nitride-based PICs on a multi-project wafer for custom samples in research and development.
Cross-section of a single-mode waveguide and a ring resonator, made from silicon nitride.

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