SiComb Kick-Off Meeting

On October 22, 2020, SiComb partners met online to officially kick-off a new research and innovation project, led by Haiyan Ou from Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (DTU) and funded by the FET Open scheme of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 programme. Under the title CMOS compatible and ultra-broadband on-chip SiC frequency comb (SiComb), this project gathers seven partners from both academic and industrial sectors aiming to demonstrate for the first time an on-chip Silicon Carbide frequency comb.

Silicon Carbide (SiC) material is abundant, and processing is complementary metal-oxide-silicon (CMOS) compatible. Thanks to the wide bandgap and exceptional nonlinear optical properties, the SiC frequency comb light source will cover ultra-wideband from near-ultraviolet to middle infrared where disinfection, lighting, communication, biosensing and gas sensing have an individual footprint, some of which is not covered by the standard lasers yet. Moreover, SiC in itself is environmentally friendly, biocompatible and shows an extended device lifetime and efficiency. Thus, the participants expect that there is potential for a breakthrough in the field of optical communications.

The impacts of this technology are multifold: space-saving, energy-saving and bigger data transmission capacity. With bigger data transmission capacity, the facilitated Multi-media online education will address the quality education goal listed in the sustainable development goals of United Nations and energy saving will mitigate and reduce the current 10% electricity consumption in internet business.

In this ambitious 3-years project with an overall budget of 3 million euros, an interdisciplinary consortium with complementary strengths on 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 competitiveness and growth of industrial partners. It will also align with European advancement in frequency comb efforts, as well as innovation competence to position Europe at the forefront of technologies in the research and innovation. The future market implementation and utilization are expected to have a strong momentum given by the results and stakeholder establishment in the SiComb project.