Spring 2018








Silicon photonics is a rapidly growing industry as well as an active area of advanced research. This course will focus on practical applications of advanced EM concepts to silicon photonics integrated circuits. It combines the rigorous derivation of major physical concepts like matrix optics, waveguiding, coupled mode theory, pin junctions, etc. with the applications of these knowledge towards the design of practical silicon photonic devices like passive wavelength filters, active switches and modulators for optical communications, as well as germanium photodetectors. The emphasis will be given to interaction of guided EM waves with electrical charges in pin junction that would allow to understand the operation and design principles of a new class of photonic devices (modulators, switches, photodetectors, etc.) based on carrier-injection/depletion in silicon/germanium integrated optics. Fabrication approaches and CMOS integration challenges will be reviewed. System-level analysis of short-reach and long-haul optical links will be reviewed that will drive the design considerations for optical transmitter and receiver subsystems and individual devices.

Additional credit: Up to 4 graduate hours will be given on the basis of successfully completing independent project on analysis, design and testing of the silicon photonic circuits. Designs should be completed by the tapeout date March 5. Corresponding photonic devices and circuits will be fabricated at the University of British Columbia and then automatically tested. Results of the optical measurements will be available for students by mid-March. This will give enough time to analyze the results and write a comprehensive report covering device operation principles, literature search, design approaches chosen, and analysis of the experimental results.

Time Room Instructor Office Hours Office
12:30-1:50pm, Tue Thur 4070 ECEB Yurii Vlasov (yvlasov@illinois.edu) Tue 2:30 PM 1250 MNTL

Homework TA TBA (tba@illinois.edu) Office Hours: TBD

Textbook: Mostly based on classnotes.

Supplementary Texts:
S.L.Chuang, Physics of Photonic Devices, 2nd Edition, Wiley, New York, 2009.
L. Coldren, S. Corzine, M.L. Mashanovitch , Diode Lasers and Photonic Integrated Circuits, Wiley 2nd Edition (2012)
B.E.A.Saleh and M.C.Teich, Fundamentals of Photonics, 2nd ed., Wiley, New York, 2007.

Tuesday (12:30 - 13:50) ECEB 4070

Thursday (12:30 - 13:50) ECEB 4070

1/16 L1.Introduction to integrated photonics: optical communications, short-reach and long-haul optical links, optical switching, economic drivers towards photonic integration  Slides   1/18 L2.Interaction of optical waves with dielectric and metal interfaces.  Notes  

HW1 assignment   HW1 solutions  

1/23 L3. Symmetric dielectric waveguides: Cutoff conditions, dispersion relation.   Notes   1/25 L4. Symmetric dielectric waveguides: Propagation constant and effective index, Optical confinement factor.   Notes  

HW2 assignment   HW2 solutions  

1/30 L5. Asymmetric dielectric waveguides. Rectangular waveguides. Marcatilli and effective index methods.Computational methods for integrated photonics.   Notes   Slides   2/01 L6. Fabrication of silicon waveguides. Waveguide loss, scattering, absorption, radiation. Bent waveguides. Y-branch splitters.   Notes   Slides  

HW3 assignment   HW3 solutions  

2/06 L7.Coupling to waveguide: edge, grating, evanescent coupling, spot-size converters. Packaging solutions and economic/functional/power constraints.  Notes   Slides   2/08 L8. Coupled mode theory. Coupled optical waveguides. Mach-Zehnder interferometer.   Notes  

HW4 assignment   HW4 solutions  

2/13 L9. Cascaded MZI optical filters. Star couplers. Wavelength division multiplexing. Filters figures of merit.  Notes   Slides   2/15 L10. Optical ring resonators. Add-drop multiplexers. Waveguide Bragg gratings  Notes   Slides  
2/20 EXAM I Exam 1 solutions   2/22 L11.Polarization dependence and management. Waveguide polarization splitters and rotators. Optical isolation.   Slides  

HW5 assignment   HW5 solutions  

2/27 L12.Optical fibers. Numerical aperture. Attenuation and dispersion in optical fibers. Group delay dispersion and signal distortion.  Notes   Slides  

3/01 L13. Group delay in silicon waveguides. Dispersion engineering. Optical nonlinearities in silicon waveguides.   Notes   Slides  

HW6 assignment   HW6 solutions  

3/06 L14. Introduction to short-reach and long-haul optical communications. Modulation formats, receiver and transmitter characteristics, optical link budget, BER and penalties  Slides   3/08 L15.Introduction to data center optical networks. Optical switching. Optical switches.   Slides 

HW7 assignment  HW7 Solutions

3/13 L16. Germanium photodetectors. Fabrication approaches. Receiver figures of merit  Slides   3/15 L17.III-V integration with silicon photonics. Integrated lasers and amplifiers. Transmitter figures of merit.   Slides  
3/27 L18. Electro-optical effects. LiNbO phase and amplitude modulators.  Notes   Notes Supp   Slides   3/29 L19. Thermal phase shifter, thermo-optic switch.  Notes   Slides  
4/03 EXAM II Exam 2 solutions   4/05 L20. Franz-Keldysh effect and FK electrooptical modulators  Slides  

HW8 assignment  HW8 Solutions

4/10 L21. Introduction to PN-and PIN-junctions. Junction diode static and transient characteristics.  Slides   4/12 L22. Carrier-Injection phase shifter. PN-junction carrier distribution, optical phase response, small signal response. Forward biased PIN junction variable optical attenuator.   Slides   HW9 assignment   HW9 Solutions
4/17 L23. Micro-ring modulators and switches, small-signal response, ring modulator design.  Slides   4/19 L24. Carrier-depletion phase shifter. PN-junction carrier distribution, optical phase response, small signal response.  Slides   HW10 assignment 
4/24 L25. Traveling wave design of reverse-biased electro-optic modulator. Design tradeoffs.   4/26 L26. Photonic modulators: Figures of merit. Modulators for advanced modulation formats.  
5/01 L27. State of silicon photonics industry. Skills and competencies.  5/03 Reading day (no class)
FINAL EXAM Monday 05/08/2018 1:30PM-4:30PM ECEB4070


Unless specified otherwise, homework will be assigned weekly on Thursdays on-line on this web page and collected a week later next Thursday in class. No late homework will be accepted (except when special permission is granted by your instructor before the due date).


Two midsemester exams (in class) and the final exam are scheduled as follows

Exam I Tuesday, February 20, 2018
Exam II Tuesday, April 3, 2018
Final Exam Tuesday 05/07/2018 1:30PM-4:30PM ECEB4070


Homework and Class Participation 20% of total
Midterm Exam I 25% of total
Midterm Exam II 25% of total
Final Exam 30% of total