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The University of Southampton

OPTO6007 Silicon Photonics

Module Overview

The course will present an introduction to guided waves, optical modes, and propagation characteristics of photonic circuits, using Silicon Technology by way of example.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Gain knowledge on guided waves
  • Understand the motivations for silicon photonics including the technology drivers, and examples of implementation of Silicon photonic circuits
  • Understand characterisation techniques that can be applied to silicon photonic materials
  • Understand the operation of building blocks of an optical circuit at a preliminary level, including waveguides and key photonic devices such as couplers, bends, interferometers, ring resonators, modulators and sensors
  • Understand the issues surrounding integration of photonic devices as well as electronic-photonic integration
  • Learn about fabrication of Silicon Photonic devices, and associated fabrication techniques.
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Follow, understand and appreciate current research in Silicon Photonics.
  • Undertake advanced study in the field of Silicon Photonics
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Efficiently solve scientific problems.
  • Think analytically.
  • Study effectively
Subject Specific Practical Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Understand the significant differences between short reach and long haul optical communications.
  • Design Silicon Photonics devices and circuits, and identify the appropriate fabrication and characterisation techniques.


- What is Silicon Photonics? Why is it required? What are the key technological metrics? Applications - Fundamentals of guided waves. Modes of Si waveguides, propagation constants, effective index, mode profiles. - Coupling to waveguides: grating couplers; butt coupling, mode transformers, inverted tapers. - Advanced waveguides structures; Photonic crystals, slot waveguides, mid infrared waveguides. - Waveguides loss mechanisms and loss measurements. - Passive devices: Mach Zehnder interferometer, ring resonator, directional couplers, waveguide bends, multiplexers. - Modulators, modulation formats and photonic-electronic integration. LiDAR. - Photonic sensors and applications.

Learning and Teaching

Follow-up work14
Wider reading or practice60
Preparation for scheduled sessions14
Completion of assessment task18
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

L. Pavesi & D J Lockwoodt (2004). Silicon Photonics. 

L Pavesi & G Guillot (2006). Optical Interconnects: The Silicon Approach. 

G T Reed & AP Knights (2004). Silicon Photonics: An Introduction. 

G T Reed. Silicon Photonics: The state of the art. 

Michael Hochberg, Lukas Chrostowski  (2015). Silicon Photonics Design: From Devices to Systems. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Continuous Assessment 60%
Final Assessment  40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework marks carried forward 60%
Final Assessment  40%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework marks carried forward 60%
Final Assessment  40%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisites: ELEC2212 OR ELEC2219 OR OPTO6012

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