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Opt Express. 2010 Aug 16;18(17):18312-23. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.018312.

Optimization of metallic microheaters for high-speed reconfigurable silicon photonics.

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  • 1School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332, USA.


The strong thermooptic effect in silicon enables low-power and low-loss reconfiguration of large-scale silicon photonics. Thermal reconfiguration through the integration of metallic microheaters has been one of the more widely used reconfiguration techniques in silicon photonics. In this paper, structural and material optimizations are carried out through heat transport modeling to improve the reconfiguration speed of such devices, and the results are experimentally verified. Around 4 micros reconfiguration time are shown for the optimized structures. Moreover, sub-microsecond reconfiguration time is experimentally demonstrated through the pulsed excitation of the microheaters. The limitation of this pulsed excitation scheme is also discussed through an accurate system-level model developed for the microheater response.

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