CMOS-compatible high-index doped silica waveguide with an embedded silicon-nanocrystal strip for all-optical analog-to-digital conversion

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22 Scopus Citations
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  • Kun ZHU
  • Zhe KANG
  • Chao LU
  • Brent E. LITTLE

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1200-1208
Journal / PublicationPhotonics Research
Issue number10
Online published27 Aug 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


Passive all-optical signal processors that overcome the electronic bottleneck can potentially be the enabling components for the next-generation high-speed and lower power consumption systems. Here, we propose and experimentally demonstrate a CMOS-compatible waveguide and its application to the all-optical analog-to-digital converter (ADC) under the nonlinear spectral splitting and filtering scheme. As the key component of the proposed ADC, a 50 cm long high-index doped silica glass spiral waveguide is composed of a thin silicon-nanocrystal (Si-nc) layer embedded in the core center for enhanced nonlinearity. The device simultaneously possesses low loss (0.16 dB/cm at 1550 nm), large nonlinearity (305 W−1∕km at 1550 nm), and negligible nonlinear absorption. A 2-bit ADC basic unit is achieved when pumped by the proposed waveguide structure at the telecom band and without any additional amplification. Simulation results that are consistent with the experimental ones are also demonstrated, which further confirm the feasibility of the proposed scheme for larger quantization resolution. This demonstrated approach enables a fully monolithic solution for all-optical ADC in the future, which can digitize broadband optical signals directly at low power consumption. This has great potential on the applications of high-speed optical communications, networks, and signal processing systems.

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