Electronic and photonic integrated circuits use optics to overcome bottlenecks of microelectronics in bandwidth and power consumption. Silicon photonic devices such as optical modulators, filters, switches, and photodetectors have being developed for integration with electronics based on existing complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor (CMOS) circuits. An important building block of photonic devices is the optical microresonator.
On-chip whispering-gallery-mode optical resonators such as microdisks, microtoroids, and microrings have very small footprint, and thus are suitable for large scale integration. Micro-electro-mechanical system (MEMS) technology enables dynamic control and tuning of optical functions. In this dissertation, microring resonators with tunable power coupling ratio using MEMS electrostatic actuators are demonstrated. The fabrication is compatible with CMOS. By changing the physical gap spacing between the waveguide coupler and the microring, the quality factor of the microring can be tuned from 16,300 to 88,400. Moreover, we have demonstrated optical switches and tunable optical add-drop filters with an optical bandwidth of 10 GHz and an extinction ratio of 20 dB. Potentially, electronic control circuits can also be integrated.
To realize photonic integrated circuits on silicon, electrically-pumped silicon lasers are desirable. However, because of the indirect bandgap, silicon is a poor material for light emission compared with direct-bandgap III-V compound semiconductors. Heterogeneous integration of III-V semiconductor lasers on silicon is an alternative to provide on-chip light sources. Using a room-temperature, post-CMOS optofluidic assembly technique, we have experimentally demonstrated an InGaAsP microdisk laser integrated with silicon waveguides. Pre-fabricated InGaAsP microdisk lasers were fluidically assembled and aligned to the silicon waveguides on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) with lithographic alignment accuracy. The assembled microdisk lasers exhibited a threshold pump of 0.6 mW and a maximum output power of 90 μW at room temperature under pulsed condition. The light was evanescently coupled to the waveguides on SOI for on-chip optical routing.