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CMOS compatible and ultra broadband on-chip SiC frequency comb

Project description

Silicon carbide enables a high-performing, eco-friendly and biocompatible frequency comb

Lasers have become ubiquitous, and, in addition to monochromatic laser light, many applications rely on the ability to produce multiple colours of light (at discrete frequencies) simultaneously. The spectra of these laser sources resemble a comb, hence the term 'frequency comb'. Contributions to the development of laser-based precision spectroscopy, including the optical frequency comb technique, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics in 2005. Fast forward to 2020, reducing the bulk and expense of frequency combs is critical to expanding applications for today's innovations. Chip-based frequency combs requiring very little space and with very low power consumption are key. The EU-funded SiComb project aims to demonstrate for the first time a CMOS-compatible and ultra-broadband on-chip frequency comb made from sustainable and high-performance silicon carbide.


A CMOS compatible and ultra broadband on-chip Silicon Carbide frequency comb (SiComb) is going to be demonstrated for the first time by this project. It is achieved by an interdisciplinary collaboration effort of combing unique optical nonlinearity of SiC, growth of low optical loss SiC thin film and fabrication of high quality factor microresonators. As an enabling technology, the on-chip frequency comb is deemed to have far profound impact on diverse areas of science and engineering, including sensing, timekeeping, distance ranging, searching for exoplanets as well as optical communication. For example, the application of this frequency comb in optical communication as a WDM light source will be demonstrated in this project to show the energy saving and the data traffic handling beyond 100 Tb/s. Compared to frequency combs made from AlGaAs, Lithium Niobate etc, SiC has material sustainability advantages: environmentally friendly, biocompatibility, and extended device lifetime and efficiency, which opens new application potentials. In this ambitious 3-years project, SiComb consortium (7 partners from both academic and industrial sectors) with complementary strengths of SiC material growth, device nanofabrication, nonlinear optics and optical communication systems will collaborate to demonstrate the non-incremental and ground-breaking ultra broadband SiC frequency comb chips, with synergy effect at European level. These results will build leading research and innovation capacity on SiC optical devices and applications across Europe and enhance the competiveness and growth of industrial partners. It will also align with European advancement in frequency comb efforts, as well as innovation competence to position Europe in forefront of technologies in the research and innovation. The future market implementation and utilization is expected to have a strong momentum given by the results and stakeholder establishment in the SiComb project.

Call for proposal


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Net EU contribution
€ 744 241,25
2800 Kongens Lyngby

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Danmark Hovedstaden Københavns omegn
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Total cost
€ 744 241,25

Participants (6)