An important result by Stefano Grillanda and Francesco Morichetti has been published in Nature Communications, this achievement paving the way to the development of miniaturized optoelectronic devices, with great advantages in terms of speed and power consumption.
Their research has unveiled that light propagation through a silicon photonic waveguide, conventionally employed in photonic integrated devices, creates an extremely thin (a few atoms) highly-conductive surface sheet, which significantly modifies the optical and electrical properties of the waveguide itself. This effect is extremely fast and efficient, and may be exploited to realize new device concepts based on surface effects, such as ultrafast optical detectors and ultra-low energy optical transmitters.
The research activity has been carried out in the Photonic Devices Lab of the Politecnico di Milano (DEIB) in the framework of the European Project FP7-ICT BBOI (“Breaking the barriers of optical integrations”, www.bboi.eu), which is coordinated by the Politecnico di Milano (DEIB). The Photonic Devices Lab operates around Polifab, the new micro and nanotechnology center of the Politecnico di Milano
The article published in “Nature Communications” is available at the following link