The CORNERSTONE team have won ~£1.5M in funding from the UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Centre (EPSRC) to expand the capabilities offered by the service.
In CORNERSTONE 2, the team will develop 6 new silicon based technology platforms for researchers to design their photonic integrated circuits. The platforms extend the supported wavelength range into both the visible wavelengths and mid-infrared wavelengths, enabling a plethora of applications including LIDAR, lab-on-a-chip sensing and more. The 6 new platforms comprise:
- Flip-chip bonding of electronic circuits to photonics
- Pick and place of laser dies to facilitate on-chip light sources for multiple applications
- A high confinement Silicon Nitride photonics platform with thickness up to 1 µm
- An undercut Silicon Photonics platform to facilitate photonics circuits that operate at wavelengths up to 4 µm
- A Germanium-on-Silicon platform for photonics circuits that operate at wavelengths up to 12 µm
- Deep-UV projection lithography service
CORNERSTONE 2 is a collaborative project between teams led by Professor Graham Reed at the University of Southampton and Professor Marc Sorel at the University of Glasgow. The Glasgow team will be responsible for integrating light sources onto silicon photonics chips, a major step in the commercialisation of silicon photonics. The Southampton team will be responsible for the remaining platforms on 200 mm substrates, utilising the deep-UV projection lithography capability installed in the first CORNERSTONE project.
The project PI, Professor Graham Reed, Deputy Director of the ORC and Professor of Silicon Photonics said: “I'm delighted that the EPSRC are supporting the expansion of CORNERSTONE. I believe that it will enable researchers to have significant impact in a variety of silicon-based platforms.”
Professor Harold Chong, project co-investigator and Professor of Electronic Engineering in the Electronics and Computer Science department said: “The flexibility of the processes and the variety of the platforms available in CORNERSTONE 2 gives researchers numerous options when designing optoelectronics devices and systems.”
The project will officially commence on 1st March 2020 and run for 2-years. UK academics will have the opportunity to access the new platforms free-of-charge for the final 6 months of the project, with access opportunities for international researchers available for a charge during this final 6 month period and beyond. Throughout the CORNERSTONE 2 project, the team will be consulting the community to determine if they would like to see CORNERSTONE become an EPSRC National Research Facility (NRF).
The current SOI capability will continue to operate as it has done for the previous years. All users will be charged at the rates advertised on the Schedule & Cost page.