Second-harmonic generation in silicon waveguides strained by silicon nitride

TitleSecond-harmonic generation in silicon waveguides strained by silicon nitride
Publication TypePalaiseau Article
Short TitleNat. Mat.


Refereed DesignationRefereed
Cazzanelli, M, Bianco, F, Borga, E, Pucker, G, Ghulinyan, M, Degoli, E, Luppi, E, Veniard, V, Ossicini, S, Modotto, D, Wabnitz, S, Pierobon, R, Pavesi, L
Year of Publication2012
JournalNature Materials
Keywordsnonlinear, paper

Silicon photonics meets the electronics requirement of increased speed and bandwidth with on-chip optical networks. All-optical data management requires nonlinear silicon photonics. In silicon only third-order optical nonlinearities are present owing to its crystalline inversion symmetry. Introducing a second-order nonlinearity into silicon photonics by proper material engineering would be highly desirable. It would enable devices for wideband wavelength conversion operating at relatively low optical powers. Here we show that a sizeable second-order nonlinearity at optical wavelengths is induced in a silicon waveguide by using a stressing silicon nitride overlayer. We carried out second-harmonic-generation experiments and first-principle calculations, which both yield large values of strain-induced bulk second-order nonlinear susceptibility, up to 40 pm V−1 at 2,300 nm. We envisage that nonlinear strained silicon could provide a competing platform for a new class of integrated light sources spanning the near- to mid-infrared spectrum from 1.2 to 10 μm.

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