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Nonlinear optical integrated devices based on silicon, graphene, and diamond

Nonlinear optical integrated devices based on silicon, graphene, and diamond

An important category of integrated photonic devices are lasers, amplifiers and wavelength converters relying on nonlinear light-matter interactions such as stimulated Raman scattering and Kerr four-wave mixing.  

B-PHOT has a long research track record in the field of Raman and Kerr devices based on silicon, the primary semiconductor material in electronics. Starting from the early 2000s, researchers finally succeeded in developing efficient active silicon photonic devices by using the material's Raman and Kerr nonlinearities, and they also soon realized that the silicon-on-insulator (SOI) platform is one of the most promising Raman and Kerr media studied thus far. In addition to the intrinsically high nonlinear susceptibilities of silicon, the tight light confinement established in SOI structures further enhances the efficiency of the nonlinear effects. Furthermore, SOI Raman and Kerr devices exhibit a wide wavelength tunability and can operate not only at near-infrared telecom wavelengths but also at mid-infrared wavelengths above 2 microns. This hardly exploited but application-rich mid-infrared wavelength domain could be very useful for a.o. biomedical applications and remote sensing. Finally, like all silicon photonic components, SOI Raman and Kerr optical devices offer the advantage that they could be integrated with standard silicon-based electronics and that they could be fabricated in large volumes and at low cost using high precision CMOS fabrication techniques.

At B-PHOT we model and design SOI Raman and Kerr devices, and after fabrication, we experimentally verify our modeling results. We pay particular attention to the development of novel physical concepts to improve the device performance. Two examples hereof are Raman-based heat mitigation in SOI Raman lasers and "automatic" quasi-phase-matching in SOI Kerr wavelength converters.

Besides studying silicon-based nonlinear devices, we also investigate the potential of other materials for developing efficient integrated nonlinear optical devices. These materials include graphene and synthetic diamond, both of which are revolutionary optical media with extra-ordinary linear and nonlinear optical properties. Also for graphene- and diamond-based devices, we perform at B-PHOT both the modeling and design work, and the proof-of-concept experiments. 

Research Area

Integrated Photonics

Main researcher(s)

Nathalie Vermeulen Nathalie Vermeulen
+32 2 629 34 52

Other people involved

Yannick Lefevre Yannick Lefevre
+32 2 629 35 70

Iterio Degli-Eredi Iterio Degli-Eredi
+32 2 629 10 19

Lara Misseeuw Lara Misseeuw

Benjamin Feigel Benjamin Feigel
+32 2 629 10 19

Fei Gao Fei Gao
+32 2 629 10 19

Jin-Luo Cheng Jin-Luo Cheng
+32 2 629 18 14

Jurgen Van Erps Jurgen Van Erps
+32 497 80 07 94

Related research projects

Latest publications

  • I. H. Rey, Y. Lefevre, S. A. Schulz, N. Vermeulen, and T. F. Krauss, “Raman gain in realistic slow light photonic crystals,” in Proc. Group IV Photonics Conference, 2011.

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  • N. Vermeulen, J. E. Sipe, Y. Lefevre, C. Debaes, and H. Thienpont, “Wavelength Conversion Based on Raman- and Non-Resonant Four-Wave Mixing in Silicon Nanowire Rings Without Dispersion Engineering,” IEEE J. Sel. Top. Quantum Electron, vol. 17, no. 4, pp. 1078–1091, 2011.

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  • I. H. Rey, Y. Lefevre, S. A. Schulz, N. Vermeulen, and T. F. Krauss, “Scaling of Raman amplification in ralistic slow-light photonic crystal waveguides,” Physical Review B, vol. 84, no. 3, p. 035306, 2011.

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  • Y. Lefevre, N. Vermeulen, C. Debaes, and H. Thienpont, “Optimized wavelength conversion in silicon waveguides based on ‘off-Raman-resonance’ operation: extending the phase mismatch formalism,” Opt. Express, vol. 19, no. 20, pp. 18810–18826, 2011.

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A full overview of all our publications can be found in our publication database

B-PHOT cooperates with EYESTvzw for STEM-projects in Photonics

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Hugo Thienpont
Prof. Dr. Ir.
Hugo Thienpont
Managing Director
Nadia Cornand

Nadia Cornand
+32 2 791 68 52

How to reach B-Phot?

VUB - Campus Etterbeek
Pleinlaan 2
1050 Elsene
Building F - 9th floor

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