Nonlinéarités optiques du second ordre dans le silicium

Abstract : The explosion of data demand imposed new requirements in terms of data transmission rate that are more and more difficult to meet without greatly increasing the power consumption in data centres, hot spots of telecommunications networks. In this context, silicon photonics is considered the most adapted solution to address these complex issues by replacing metallic interconnects by silicon-based photonic links. The electro-optic modulator is one major building block in such photonic links and ensure the conversion of data carried by an electric signal to an optical one. However, silicon being a centrosymmetric material, it cannot exhibit the Pockels effect, a very valuable optical nonlinear phenomenon used in most high-speed and low power consumption modulators. This limitation is nonetheless relaxed by applying deformations to the silicon lattice by means of stress in order to break its inversion symmetry. Numerous theoretical and experimental studies were reported to demonstrate and quantify the Pockels effect. But, the semiconductor nature of silicon tremendously complicate the analysis of the Pockels effect, which existence was questioned in strained silicon and source of controversy. Indeed, free carriers in silicon waveguides and at the interfaces induce a strong modulation signal, thereby screening Pockels effect. To stem the influence of free carriers, the work done in the thesis consisted in studying high frequency-based modulation signal (> 5 GHz). Various microwave studies were then performed in strained silicon photonic structures and will be presented in the following thesis manuscript. First studies were achieved on a SOI platform and the obtained experimental results demonstrated the presence of a weak high-frequency electro-optic modulation signal which intensity clearly depends on the silicon cristallographic direction and the level of stress applied to silicon. Based on a theoretical model describing the second-order nonlinear electric susceptibility χ(²), a multiphysic model has been developed and successfully described both experimental results and the spatial distribution of χ(²) within strained silicon waveguides. These studies also showed that the weak intensity of the applied electric fields, due to the free carriers distribution, are responsible for the weak measured Pockels-based modulation efficiencies. A second study has then been carried out on a modified SOI platform allowing the design of more efficient electric circuits inducing stronger electric fields. An improvement by a factor of 20 was observed on the obtained experimental results compared to the previous ones. Moreover, the multiphysic model could again describe those results, proving its reliability. As outlooks, electro-optic eye diagram of complex electric signals could be obtained at the condition of stronger stress applied to silicon waveguides. Furthermore, the model describing the second-order nonlinear susceptibility χ(²) can also be exploited to depict the second harmonic generation in strained silicon waveguides, which existence is still not clear for the moment.
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Mathias Berciano. Nonlinéarités optiques du second ordre dans le silicium. Optique [physics.optics]. Université Paris-Saclay, 2018. Français. ⟨NNT : 2018SACLS565⟩. ⟨tel-01978099⟩

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