Chalcogenide glass-on-graphene photonics

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Two-dimensional (2D) materials are of tremendous interest to integrated photonics, given their singular optical characteristics spanning light emission, modulation, saturable absorption and nonlinear optics. To harness their optical properties, these atomically thin materials are usually attached onto prefabricated devices via a transfer process. Here, we present a new route for 2D material integration with planar photonics. Central to this approach is the use of chalcogenide glass, a multifunctional material that can be directly deposited and patterned on a wide variety of 2D materials and can simultaneously function as the light-guiding medium, a gate dielectric and a passivation layer for 2D materials. Besides achieving improved fabrication yield and throughput compared with the traditional transfer process, our technique also enables unconventional multilayer device geometries optimally designed for enhancing light–matter interactions in the 2D layers. Capitalizing on this facile integration method, we demonstrate a series of high-performance glass-on-graphene devices including ultra-broadband on-chip polarizers, energy-efficient thermo-optic switches, as well as graphene-based mid-infrared waveguide-integrated photodetectors and modulators.

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Change history

  • 16 November 2017

    In the version of this Article originally published online, the following statement for the equally contributing authors was missing: “Hongtao Lin, Yi Song, Yizhong Huang and Derek Kita contributed equally to this work.” This has now been corrected in all versions of the Article.


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The authors thank L.C. Kimerling and A. Agarwal for providing access to device measurement facilities, Q. Du, P.-c. Shen, W.S. Leong, J. Michon and Y. Zou for assistance with device processing and characterization and M. Mondol for technical support with electron-beam lithography. Funding support is provided by the National Science Foundation under award nos. 1453218, 1506605 and 1509197. This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship under grant no. 1122374. R.-J.S. and D.E. gratefully acknowledge funding support by the the Center for Excitonics, an Energy Frontier Research Center funded by the US Department of Energy, Office of Science, Office of Basic Energy Sciences underaward no. DE-SC0001088. C.-C.H. and D.H. were funded in part through the Future Photonics Manufacturing Hub (EPSRC EP/N00762X/1). The authors also acknowledge fabrication facility support by the MIT Microsystems Technology Laboratories and the Harvard University Center for Nanoscale Systems, the latter of which is supported by the National Science Foundation under award no. 0335765.

Author information

H.L. conceived the device designs and carried out device fabrication and testing. Y.S. prepared and characterized the 2D materials. Y.H. characterized the polarizer and thermo-optic switch devices. D.K. constructed the mid-infrared testing system and measured the detector and modulator devices. S.D.-J. prepared the black phosphorus and InSe samples and performed Raman and passivation tests. K.W. performed numerical modelling of the thermo-optic switch. J.L. and H.Z. deposited the ChG films. S.D.-J., L.L. and Z.L. contributed to device characterization. S.N. and A.Y. synthesized the ChG materials. H.W. and C.-C.H. assisted with 2D material preparation. R.-J.S. assisted in detector design and performed detector device modelling. J.H., T.G., J.K., K.R., D.E. and D.H. supervised and coordinated the research. All authors contributed to technical discussions and writing the paper.

Correspondence to Hongtao Lin or Juejun Hu.

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