AIM Photonics Releases New Silicon Nitride Process Design Kit

AIM Photonics has announced the release of a new process design kit (PDK) developed specifically for advanced photonics applications using silicon nitride waveguides. The new PDK gives AIM Photonics members and multi-project wafer (MPW) customers access to even more leading-edge technology to design, manufacture and package their photonic integrated circuit (PIC) prototype devices at the institute’s state-of-the-art fabrication facility at Albany Nanotech in Albany, NY, and Test, Assembly and Packaging facility in Rochester, NY.

The silicon nitride PIC PDK—which currently consists of the TLX Component Library created in collaboration with U.S. Naval Research Laboratory (NRL)—was developed for AIM Photonics’ passive, low-loss photonic integrated circuit (PIC) platform based on silicon nitride (SiN) waveguide layers for the near-infrared (and soon visible) wavelength ranges. It includes broadband edge couplers, splitters, and directional couplers designed for wavelengths that span the operational range of 700 nm to 1625 nm for both the TE00 and TM00 modes.

Broadband operation of photonic integrated circuits to include more than just the O and C bands is becoming increasingly important for chip-scale implementations of advanced photonic applications such as quantum information processing and sensing. For example, chip-scale biological sensing schemes often use fluorescent markers or target biomolecules that require platforms transparent in the visible spectrum. Trace chemical vapor detection with PICs via Raman scattering also benefits from shorter-wavelength laser sources.

The silicon nitride PIC consists of two silicon nitride waveguides, with the option of selectively exposing waveguides for sensing or heterogeneous integration. In this technology, the films have been developed to produce ultra-low loss and ultra-low fluorescence, which are required for use in various chemical and biosensing applications.

“Working with our members, such as the NRL, to develop new platforms for specific applications will help speed the progression of these advanced technologies from prototype to manufacturability for use by the Department of Defense, as well as future commercial applications,” said AIM Photonics Chief Operating Officer David Harame, Ph.D.

The new silicon nitride PIC PDK is also compatible with AIM Photonics’ Test, Assembly, and Packaging (TAP) capabilities, including low-loss fiber-attach, sub-mounting, and system assembly. This enables fully-packaged PICs to be efficiently integrated with custom fibers, sources, and detectors throughout the visible and near-infrared.

Available to designers, developers and academic researchers at no charge, the AIM Photonics silicon nitride PIC PDK is currently supported by most major EPDA software tools including Lumerical, Cadence, and Klayout, with support in other platforms, such as Synopsys, planned for the near future.

New users wishing to access and download the AIM Photonics silicon nitride PIC PDK, must complete and submit the PDK access form on AIM Photonics’ website. Current AIM Photonics members and customers should contact info@aimphotonics.com to amend their license agreement(s) in order to gain access to the silicon nitride PIC PDK through their GitLab account.

AIM Photonics first publicly accessible wafer run using the new silicon-nitride-only platform is scheduled for Fall 2022, with design submissions due on or before July 12, 2022. Companies or researchers interested in reserving space for the sensors run should complete and submit the information request form on AIM Photonics’ website.

Original Source: AIM Photonics

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