Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Device physics

The optical age of silicon

The silicon chip has been the mainstay of the electronics industry and it may similarly come to dominate photonics. A key component — a high-frequency optical modulator — has now been fabricated.

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution

Relevant articles

Open Access articles citing this article.

Access options

Rent or buy this article

Get just this article for as long as you need it


Prices may be subject to local taxes which are calculated during checkout


  1. Soref, R. A. Proc. IEEE 81, 1687–1706 (1993).

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  2. Liu, A. et al. Nature 427, 615–618 (2004).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Png, C. E., Reed, G. T., Atta, R. M. H., Ensell, G. J. & Evans, A. G. R. Proc. SPIE 4997, 190–197 (2003).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  4. Tang, C. K. & Reed, G. T. Electron. Lett. 31, 451–452 (1995).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. Dainesi, P. et al. IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 12, 660–662 (2000).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  6. Franzò, G., Coffa, S., Priolo, F. & Spinella, C. J. Appl. Phys. 81, 2784–2793 (1997).

    Article  ADS  Google Scholar 

  7. Canham, L. T. Appl. Phys. Lett. 57, 1046–1048 (1990).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  8. Pavesi, L., Dal Negro, L., Mazzoleni, G., Franzò, G. & Priolo, F. Nature 408, 440–444 (2000).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Ng, W. L. et al. Nature 410, 192–194 (2001).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

  10. Claps, R., Dimitropoulos, D., Raghunanthan, V., Han, Y. & Jalali, B. Optics Express 11, 1731–1739 (2003).

    Article  ADS  CAS  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Reed, G. The optical age of silicon. Nature 427, 595–596 (2004).

Download citation

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:

This article is cited by


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing