Transforming silicon into a high performing in tegrated nonlinear photonics platform by integrati on with 2D graphene oxide films

Layered two-dimensional (2D) GO films are integrated with silicon-on-insulator (SOI) nanowire waveguides to experimentally demonstrate an enhanced Kerr nonlinearity, observed through self-phase modulation (SPM). The GO films are integrated with SOI nanowires using a large-area, transfer-free, layer-by-layer coating method that yields precise control of the film thickness. The film placement and coating length are controlled by opening windows in the silica cladding of the SOI nanowires. Owing to the strong mode overlap between the SOI nanowires and the highly nonlinear GO films, the Kerr nonlinearity of the hybrid waveguides is significantly enhanced. Detailed SPM measurements using picosecond optical pulses show significant spectral broadening enhancement for SOI nanowires coated with 2.2-mm-long films of 1−3 layers of GO, and 0.4-mm-long films with 5−20 layers of GO. By fitting the experimental results with theory, the dependence of GO’s n2 on layer number and pulse energy is obtained, showing interesting physical insights and trends of the layered GO films from 2D monolayers to quasi bulk-like behavior. Finally, we show that by coating SOI nanowires with GO films the effective nonlinear parameter of SOI nanowires is increased 16 fold, with the effective nonlinear figure of merit (FOM) increasing by about 20 times to FOM > 5. These results reveal the strong potential of using layered GO films to improve the Kerr nonlinear optical performance of silicon photonic devices.