An All-Silicon Passive Optical Diode

Birck Nanotechnology Center, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907, USA.
Science (Impact Factor: 31.48). 12/2011; 335(6067):447-50. DOI: 10.1126/science.1214383
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT A passive optical diode effect would be useful for on-chip optical information processing but has been difficult to achieve. Using a method based on optical nonlinearity, we demonstrate a forward-backward transmission ratio of up to 28 decibels within telecommunication wavelengths. Our device, which uses two silicon rings 5 micrometers in radius, is passive yet maintains optical nonreciprocity for a broad range of input power levels, and it performs equally well even if the backward input power is higher than the forward input. The silicon optical diode is ultracompact and is compatible with current complementary metal-oxide semiconductor processing.

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