Silicon Photonics is a rapidly evolving research field that has recently attracted a lot of interest from both academia and semiconductor industry. Utilizing silicon-based material platforms and combining mature silicon processing technologies and tools from semiconductor industry, Silicon Photonics offers the most promising solutions for industrial-scale fabrication of high-performance photonic integrated circuits (PICs) and their co-integration with electronic devices on a single chip.

Silicon Photonics is aiming to transform photonics, in applications ranging from intra and inter-chip interconnect to lab on a chip; from consumer products to Fibre to the Home transceivers; from high performance computing interconnect to environmental sensing. In other words, silicon will bring photonics to mass markets. Despite significant progress in the recent years, in order to successfully transform photonics in this way, several key research challenges still need to be overcome. In this programme we are tackling all of these research challenges. Successful solutions to them will facilitate a revolution in low cost photonics, and one of our goals is to place the United Kingdom at its centre.

To succeed in mass markets silicon photonics requires: (i) a low cost method of comprehensively testing at the wafer scale; (ii) a passive alignment coupling technique from fibre to optical chip; (iii) a means of scaling the functionality of the photonic circuit; (iv) very low power, high data rate modulators; and (v) low cost integrated lasers on chip. To date there are no satisfactory solutions for any of these issues. The goal of this programme is to find solutions for them all.