Integrated photonics, nonlinear optics, silicon photonics


Silicon photonics is nowadays a mature technology and is on the verge of becoming a blossoming industry. Silicon photonics has also been pursued as a platform for integrated nonlinear optics based on Raman and Kerr effects. In recent years, more futuristic directions have been pursued by various groups. For instance, the realm of silicon photonics has been expanded beyond the well-established near-infrared wavelengths and into the mid-infrared (3 - 5 µm). In this wavelength range, the omnipresent hurdle of nonlinear silicon photonics in the telecommunication band, i.e., nonlinear losses due to two-photon absorption, is inherently nonexistent. With the lack of efficient light-emission capability and second-order optical nonlinearity in silicon, heterogeneous integration with other material systems has been another direction pursued. Finally, several approaches have been proposed and demonstrated to address the energy efficiency of silicon photonic devices in the near-infrared wavelength range. In this dissertation, theoretical and experimental works are conducted to extend applications of integrated photonics into mid-infrared wavelengths based on silicon, demonstrate heterogeneous integration of tantalum pentoxide and lithium niobate photonics on silicon substrates, and study two-photon photovoltaic effect in gallium arsenide and plasmonic-enhanced structures. Specifically, performance and noise properties of nonlinear silicon photonic devices, such as Raman lasers and optical parametric amplifiers, based on novel and reliable waveguide technologies are studied. Both near-infrared and mid-infrared nonlinear silicon devices have been studied for comparison. Novel tantalum-pentoxide- and lithium-niobate-on-silicon platforms are developed for compact microring resonators and Mach-Zehnder modulators. Third- and second-harmonic generations are theoretical studied based on these two platforms, respectively. Also, the two-photon photovoltaic effect is studied in gallium arsenide waveguides for the first time. The effect, which was first demonstrated in silicon, is the nonlinear equivalent of the photovoltaic effect of solar cells and offers a viable solution for achieving energy-efficient photonic devices. The measured power efficiency achieved in gallium arsenide is higher than that in silicon and even higher efficiency is theoretically predicted with optimized designs. Finally, plasmonic-enhanced photovoltaic power converters, based on the two-photon photovoltaic effect in silicon using subwavelength apertures in metallic films, are proposed and theoretically studied.


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Graduation Date





Fathpour, Sasan


Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)


College of Optics and Photonics


Optics and Photonics

Degree Program

Optics and Photonics








Release Date

August 2014

Length of Campus-only Access


Access Status

Doctoral Dissertation (Open Access)


Dissertations, Academic -- Optics and Photonics; Optics and Photonics -- Dissertations, Academic