Silicon Photonics: A Transition from Devices to Systems

Lecture / Panel
For NYU Community

A Joint Electrical and Computer Engineering and Applied Physics Colloquium

Professor Michael Hochberg

Department of Electrical Engineering
University of Washington


Silicon is an ideal material system for integrated optics at  telecommunications wavelengths, and the past ten years have produced a variety of exciting device results using silicon nanoscale waveguides. With a combination of CMOS electronics and photonics in the same chip, we can gain control of both photons and electrons on the  nanometer scale, while preserving the powerful economics of VLSI revolution.  Furthermore, silicon waveguides can be engineered for low optical loss and high cladding overlap, while preserving nano-scale modal areas. As a result, it is possible to add (among other things) highly nonlinear engineered organic claddings to silicon waveguides, in order to create ultrafast nonlinear devices. This talk will review the Nanophotonics Group's recent work in chip-scale nonlinear optics, while providing a very brief overview of our other projects in biosensing, optomechanics, and mid-infrared photonics.  A recent initiative, called OPSIS, to create an open foundry for fully integrated optoelectronic devices and systems in silicon will be discussed.

About the Speaker

Michael Hochberg is an Assistant Professor in Electrical Engineering at the University of Washington. He received his BS (Physics, 2002), his MS (Applied Physics, 2005) and his PhD (Applied Physics, 2006) from Caltech, and he was awarded the Demetriades-Tsafka Prize in nanotechnology for the best dissertation by a graduating PhD student in the field of nanotechnology. As a graduate student, he worked on developing integrated nonlinear optical devices using silicon photonics. He was also the recipient of an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship and, as an undergraduate, of a merit-based fellowship from Caltech. As an undergraduate, Hochberg co-founded two companies: Simulant, which sold the first commercial distributed FDTD code, and Luxtera, a venture-funded company working to commercialize silicon photonics. He is a member of the faculty at the University of Washington, where he was the recipient of a 2007 Air Force Office of Sponsored Research Young Investigators Program award, as well as a Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering (PECASE).