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Surface Optimization of the Silicon Templates for Monolithic Photonics Integration
KTH, School of Information and Communication Technology (ICT).
2011 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Silicon photonics is emerging as a potential field to achieve optical interconnects towards the realization of ultra high bandwidth. The indirect band-gap property of silicon still remains as a big challenge to incorporate silicon photonic active device, for example, silicon-based laser. In the Laboratory of Semiconductor Materials at KTH, a monolithic integration platform based on nano-epitaxial lateral overgrowth (nano-ELOG) technique has been proposed to integrate III-V semiconductor materials with silicon for light source application.

The integration process involves uneven surface morphology at different stages. The surfaces of the indium phosphide seed layer on silicon used for ELOG, the mask deposited on it (the silicon/silicon dioxide waveguide) and the ELOG indium phosphide layer grown on it prior to laser growth are often rough. In this thesis work, we have optimized chemical mechanical polishing (CMP) technique in order to achieve an even surface. The same procedure is also necessary to reach the optimal thickness of different layers to enable effective coupling of light from the laser source into the waveguide.

CMP of indium phosphide to obtain an average surface roughness of < 1 nm has been optimized by a two-step polishing using different slurries; it results in a step height of ca 3 nm. Similarly the surface of silicon/silicon dioxide “waveguide” has also been optimized with the roughness of ~ 0.5 nm. In the latter case, a step height of 40 nm is retained and this increase with respect to InP is identified to be mainly due to limitations of the polishing machine which is different from that used for indium phosphide. The reduction in step heights with polishing time is analyzed and compared with an existing theoretical model. Our results are in good qualitative agreement with the model.

The optimized surface morphology obtained in this work was tested for its suitability for integration. For this evaluation, InP was grown by ELOG in a hydride vapour phase epitaxy reactor with and without CMP of the involved surfaces. The surface after CMP yields layers of better surface morphology with fewer defects as revealed by atomic force microscopy, surface profilometer and cathodoluminescence analysis. The results indicate that the CMP process is useful for monolithic integration for silicon photonics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2011. , 73 p.
Trita-ICT-EX, 76
Keyword [en]
Chemical mechanical polishing, epitaxial lateral growth, surface optimization, roughness, surface morphology, step height, surface topography.
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-37226OAI: diva2:432717
Subject / course
Microelectronics and Applied Physics
Educational program
Master of Science - Photonics
Available from: 2011-08-05 Created: 2011-08-05 Last updated: 2011-08-05Bibliographically approved

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