Light Confinement in a 3D Space

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SUTD – Hongwei Gao, George F. R. Chen, Peng Xing, Ju Won Choi, Hong Yee Low and Dawn T. H. Tan

SUTD researchers develop technology which allows for photonic integrated circuits to unlock their potential as high resolution 3D photonic structures in ultra-high speed communications.

SEM images of fabricated waveguide devices – (a) 3D spiral waveguide; (b) Suspended air-bridge waveguide; inset shows the input and output coupling sections; (c) 30Gb/s NRZ; and (d) 56Gb/s PAM4 eye diagram of the 3D Printed Waveguide output.

The emerging services such as data center cloud interconnection services, ultra-bandwidth video services, and 5G mobile services stimulate the fast development of Photonic integrated circuits (PIC), which can meet the increasing demand of communication systems for internet. However, PICs today are largely perceived as planar structures, able to guide light in a single plane. This planarity arises because of the traditional top-down fabrication processes.

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