Visible Light Multi Project Wafer Services

Our multi project wafer (MPW) services give you access to visible light applications using the uniquely broad transparency range of our silicon nitride technology. An MPW optimized for visible light enables integration and miniaturization of systems for life sciences, which have typically relied on visible light for imaging. Applications include fluorescence microscopy, optical phased arrays, and image processing.

Outside of the life sciences, users find visible light beneficial for its relatively high energy and strong interaction with materials. Visible light photonic integrated circuits make for compact, robust, and power efficient devices for the same purposes.

Visible Light Multi Project Wafer Benefits

  • Silicon nitride waveguides optimized for low loss transmission of visible light
  • Ideal for integration with visible light sources
  • Enable on-chip processing of imaging information
  • Higher component density with relatively short wavelength light

How To Use the Visible Light MPW

Review the visible light MPW schedule to plan your project, then contact us to arrange the details! Our visible light MPW process design kit is available for various design software, including Nazca, OptoDesigner, and IPKISS.

Visible Light Photonic Integrated Circuits Applications

Visible light photonic integrated circuits have been deployed in spectrometry, as in the EU-funded project InSPECT. The project aimed for the development of an integrated spectrometer for optical tissue characterization. The characterization method, known as Diffuse Reflectance Spectroscopy, uses a broadband light source to illuminate a tissue sample. The tissue scatters light at wavelengths characteristic of the tissue type and its condition. To identify this response regardless of tissue type and possible condition, the collection of a broad spectrum of light and its subsequent separation is required. This was achieved using arrayed-waveguide gratings (AWGs), which is a standard building block included in our visible light MPW process design kit. Each AWG separated the input light into its component wavelengths. By cascading multiple AWGs, the scattered light was separated into increasingly narrow wavebands, each carrying a specific section of the spectrum. The device ended in 50 light channels, which were hybrid-integrated with dedicated photodetectors.

Visible light chip with arrayed waveguide gratings for spectrometry.

A TriPleX® visible light chip with arrayed waveguide gratings for spectrometry. Top panel shows the output facet, with the full spectrum light split into multiple channels.

Innovative Photonic Devices at a Budget

Our visible light MPW service offers a PDK with standard building blocks as well as allow for new designs to be implemented on our TriPleX® platform. This freedom allowed researchers at the Instituto de Telecomunicações in Portugal to design a composite building block based on a multimode interferometer, phase shifters, and splitters.

The novel circuit carried out an all-optical Haar transform, which is used for fast, real-time image data processing and compression. Such tasks are typically handled by electronic devices which expend a lot of processing power on the ballooning data demands of high-resolution images and real-time communication. Offloading such tasks to photonic chips frees up computational resources for other tasks. This approach is also faster, as it circumvents the need to convert the image data from the optical to electrical domains for processing then back to the optical domain for transfer.

In the MPW chip, seven circuits with variations on the design were fabricated to test out different geometries and differences in the performance of TE and TM modes. The TriPleX® circuit achieved a 75% compression rate for an 8-pixel array at 532 nm light, with the possibility of full-spectrum image processing using the platform’s wide transparency.

Light propagating in a Haar transform optical chip fabricated via TripleX visible light multi project wafer

Light propagating through a TriPleX® visible light MPW chip designed by the researchers to carry out the Haar transform for image processing.