Ultra-Broadband Silicon Nanophotonics: From Exascale Computing to Mid-Infrared Sensing

February 14, 2013
Interschool Lab, 750 CEPSR
Hosted by: Prof. Richard Osgood
Speaker: Dr. William Green (IBM T.J. Watson Research Center)


Exascale high-performance computing systems are projected to become a reality by the end of the decade. Supercomputers of this size are anticipated to have considerable societal impact, by transforming scientific understanding of complex systems including global climate, brain neurophysiology, and fusion energy. Escalating computational performance and interconnection bandwidth significantly beyond today's Petaflop systems will require deployment of hundreds of millions of optical links across all length scales within the system architecture, for interconnection of racks, modules, and individual chips. This talk will describe the device-level research behind IBM CMOS Integrated Silicon Nanophotonic technology, which realizes monolithic integration of deeply-scaled high-speed optical circuits within the front-end of a standard CMOS process. This platform can provide a cost-effective path toward the low-power, massively parallel optical transceivers required for Exascale systems.

While silicon optical interconnects utilize telecom-band wavelengths, the very same photonic integrated circuit platform can also be extended toward emerging applications within the mid-infrared spectrum. For example, we have engineered silicon's high mid-infrared transmission, strong optical confinement, and low nonlinear absorption to generate nonlinear optical interactions 105 times larger than those found in optical fibers. This talk will highlight the recent development of several mid-infrared silicon nanophotonic components, including high-gain optical parametric amplifiers, tunable parametric oscillators, and supercontinuum sources. Such devices can play an essential role within mid-infrared molecular sensors for environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics, and threat detection.

Speaker Biography

Dr. William Green is a Research Staff Member at the IBM Thomas J. Watson Research Center. His research activities encompass the design of optical devices and integrated systems for terabit-per-second-class silicon nanophotonic interconnects. In addition, Dr. Green's work has extended the silicon photonic integrated circuit platform to the generation and processing of mid-infrared optical signals, for various applications in molecular spectroscopy and sensing. The scientific impact of his work has been recognized within both the academic and industrial communities, through awards including the 2009 OSA Travelling Lecturer Award, the 2012 IBM Corporate Award, and the 2012 IEEE Photonics Society Young Investigator Award. Dr. Green has served on the technical committees for numerous OSA and IEEE conferences, and was Chair of the Nanophotonics Technical Sub-Committee for the IEEE Photonics Conference from 2009-2011. Dr. Green received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology in 2005, and the B.Sc. in Engineering Physics from the University of Alberta in 1999.

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