Topics in Applied Physics Volume 94, 2004, pp 1-50
Date: 02 Feb 2004

Silicon Fundamentals for Photonics Applications

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The many and diverse approaches to materials science problems have greatly enhanced our ability to engineer the physical properties of semiconductors. Silicon, of all semiconductors, underpins nearly all microelectronics today and will continue to do so for some time to come. However, in optoelectronics and photonics, the severe disadvantage of an indirect band-gap and of a negligible electro-optic coefficient has limited the application of elemental silicon. This chapter provides introductory material on the physical properties of silicon and outlines a number of diverse approaches to engineering efficient photonic components from silicon. The common paradigm is material compatibility with microelectronic components.