Article | Published:

Integrated flexible chalcogenide glass photonic devices

Nature Photonics volume 8, pages 643649 (2014) | Download Citation

Abstract

Photonic integration on thin flexible plastic substrates is important for emerging applications ranging from the realization of flexible interconnects to conformal sensors applied to the skin. Such devices are traditionally fabricated using pattern transfer, which is complicated and has limited integration capacity. Here, we report a convenient monolithic approach to realize flexible, integrated high-index-contrast chalcogenide glass photonic devices. By developing local neutral axis designs and suitable fabrication techniques, we realize a suite of photonic devices including waveguides, microdisk resonators, add–drop filters and photonic crystals that have excellent optical performance and mechanical flexibility, enabling repeated bending down to sub-millimetre radii without measurable performance degradation. The approach offers a facile fabrication route for three-dimensional high-index-contrast photonics that are difficult to create using traditional methods.

Access optionsAccess options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.

from$8.99

All prices are NET prices.

References

  1. 1.

    et al. A hemispherical electronic eye camera based on compressible silicon optoelectronics. Nature 454, 748–753 (2008).

  2. 2.

    et al. Epidermal electronics. Science 333, 838–843 (2011).

  3. 3.

    et al. Highly reliable flexible active optical links. IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 22, 287–289 (2010).

  4. 4.

    , & Flexible and tunable silicon photonic circuits on plastic substrates. Sci. Rep. 2, 622 (2012).

  5. 5.

    et al. Large-area InP-based crystalline nanomembrane flexible photodetectors. Appl. Phys. Lett. 96, 121107 (2010).

  6. 6.

    et al. Printed assemblies of inorganic light-emitting diodes for deformable and semitransparent displays. Science 325, 977–981 (2009).

  7. 7.

    et al. Flexible photonic-crystal Fano filters based on transferred semiconductor nanomembranes. J. Phys. D 42, 234007 (2009).

  8. 8.

    et al. Stamp printing of silicon-nanomembrane-based photonic devices onto flexible substrates with a suspended configuration. Opt. Lett. 37, 1020–1022 (2012).

  9. 9.

    et al. Fast flexible electronics based on printable thin mono-crystalline silicon. ECS Trans. 34, 137–142 (2011).

  10. 10.

    , , & Nanomembrane transfer process for intricate photonic device applications. Opt. Lett. 36, 58–60 (2011).

  11. 11.

    et al. Direct fabrication of silicon photonic devices on a flexible platform and its application for strain sensing. Opt. Express 20, 20564–20575 (2012).

  12. 12.

    et al. Ultra-low-loss high-aspect-ratio Si3N4 waveguides. Opt. Express 19, 3163–3174 (2011).

  13. 13.

    Sputtered Silicon Oxynitride for Microphotonics: A Materials Study. PhD thesis, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (2005).

  14. 14.

    , , & Design and fabrication of low-loss hydrogenated amorphous silicon overlay DBR for glass waveguide devices. IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron. 8, 1307–1315 (2002).

  15. 15.

    An electronic second skin. Science 333, 830–831 (2011).

  16. 16.

    et al. Stretchable and foldable silicon integrated circuits. Science 320, 507–511 (2008).

  17. 17.

    , , , & Realization of three-dimensional guiding of photons in photonic crystals. Nature Photon. 7, 133–137 (2013).

  18. 18.

    et al. Microassembly of semiconductor three-dimensional photonic crystals. Nature Mater. 2, 117–121 (2003).

  19. 19.

    & Multilayer 3-D photonics in silicon. Opt. Express 15, 12686–12691 (2007).

  20. 20.

    & Scalable 3D dense integration of photonics on bulk silicon. Opt. Express 19, 17758–17765 (2011).

  21. 21.

    et al. Integrated chalcogenide waveguide resonators for mid-IR sensing: leveraging material properties to meet fabrication challenges. Opt. Express 18, 26728–26743 (2010).

  22. 22.

    et al. Optical loss reduction in high-index-contrast chalcogenide glass waveguides via thermal reflow. Opt. Express 18, 1469–1478 (2010).

  23. 23.

    , , & Robust and flexible free-standing all-dielectric omnidirectional reflectors. Adv. Mater. 19, 193–196 (2007).

  24. 24.

    et al. Towards multimaterial multifunctional fibres that see, hear, sense and communicate. Nature Mater. 6, 336–347 (2007).

  25. 25.

    et al. Correlation between physical, optical and structural properties of sulfide glasses in the system Ge–Sb–S. Mater. Chem. Phys. 97, 64–70 (2006).

  26. 26.

    , , & Linear and nonlinear optical changes in amorphous As2Se3 thin film upon UV exposure. Prog. Nat. Sci. Mater. Int. 21, 205–210 (2011).

  27. 27.

    , , , & Wavelength dispersion of Verdet constants in chalcogenide glasses for magneto-optical waveguide devices. Opt. Commun. 252, 39–45 (2005).

  28. 28.

    et al. Planar waveguide-coupled, high-index-contrast, high-Q resonators in chalcogenide glass for sensing. Opt. Lett. 33, 2500–2502 (2008).

  29. 29.

    et al. Inorganic islands on a highly stretchable polyimide substrate. J. Mater. Res. 24, 3338–3342 (2009).

  30. 30.

    in Optical Electronics in Modern Communications 526–531 (Oxford Univ. Press, 1997).

  31. 31.

    et al. Impedance matching vertical optical waveguide couplers for dense high index contrast circuits. Opt. Express 16, 11682–11690 (2008).

  32. 32.

    Transmission, group delay, and dispersion in single-ring optical resonators and add/drop filters—a tutorial overview. J. Lightwave Technol. 22, 1380–1394 (2004).

  33. 33.

    et al. A fully-integrated flexible photonic platform for chip-to-chip optical interconnects. J. Lightwave Technol. 31, 4080–4086 (2013).

Download references

Acknowledgements

The authors thank S. Kozacik, M. Murakowski and D. Prather for assistance with device fabrication, N. Nguyen and M. Mackay for mechanical tests, N. Xiao and Y. Liu for assistance with optical measurement data processing, V. Singh for help with FIMMWAVE simulations and T. Gu and M. Haney for helpful discussions. L.L. acknowledges funding support from Delaware NASA/EPSCoR through a Research Infrastructure Development (RID) grant. H.L. and J.H. acknowledge funding support from the National Science Foundation (award no. 1200406). N.L. acknowledges start-up funding support from the Cockrell School of Engineering of the University of Texas, Austin. This work is based upon work supported in part by the National Science Foundation under cooperative agreement no. EEC-1160494. Any opinions, findings and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

Author information

Author notes

    • Lan Li
    • , Hongtao Lin
    •  & Shutao Qiao

    These authors contributed equally to this work

Affiliations

  1. Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware 19716, USA

    • Lan Li
    • , Hongtao Lin
    • , Yi Zou
    •  & Juejun Hu
  2. Centre for Mechanics of Solids, Structures and Materials, Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas 78712, USA

    • Shutao Qiao
    •  & Nanshu Lu
  3. College of Optics and Photonics, CREOL, Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Central Florida, Orlando, Florida 32816, USA

    • Sylvain Danto
    •  & Kathleen Richardson
  4. IRradiance Glass Inc., Orlando, Florida 32828, USA

    • Kathleen Richardson
    •  & J. David Musgraves

Authors

  1. Search for Lan Li in:

  2. Search for Hongtao Lin in:

  3. Search for Shutao Qiao in:

  4. Search for Yi Zou in:

  5. Search for Sylvain Danto in:

  6. Search for Kathleen Richardson in:

  7. Search for J. David Musgraves in:

  8. Search for Nanshu Lu in:

  9. Search for Juejun Hu in:

Contributions

L.L. and H.L. conducted material synthesis, optical modelling, device fabrication and testing. S.Q. and N.L. performed mechanics modelling and analysis. Y.Z. assisted with film deposition and device characterization. J.H. conceived the device and structural designs. S.D., J.D.M. and K.R. contributed to material synthesis. J.H., N.L. and K.R. supervised and coordinated the project. All authors contributed to writing the paper.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Juejun Hu.

Supplementary information

PDF files

  1. 1.

    Supplementary information

    Supplementary information

About this article

Publication history

Received

Accepted

Published

DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2014.138

Further reading

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