Researchers have created a silicon carbide (SiC) photonic integrated chip that can be thermally tuned by applying an electric signal. The approach could one day be used to create a large range of reconfigurable devices such as phase-shifters and tunable optical couplers needed for networking applications and quantum information processing.
In The Optical Society (OSA) journal Optics Letters, researchers led by Ali Adibi from the Georgia Institute of Technology detail how they integrated a microheater and an optical device called a microring resonator onto a SiC chip. The accomplishment represents the first fully integrated and thermally tunable SiC optical switch that operates at near-infrared wavelengths.
The new work builds on the researchers’ previous development of a platform called crystalline SiC-on-insulator that overcomes some of the fragility and other drawbacks of previously reported SiC platforms while providing an easy and reliable route for integration with electronic devices.
SiC is particularly attractive for quantum computing and communication applications because it has defects that can be optically controlled and manipulated as qubits. (The Optical Society)