Publications associated with Terahertz Photonics

Optoelectronics: Fast silicon photodiodes

Nature Photonics Nature Publishing Group 11 (2017) 268-269

MB Johnston

How much internet traffic did you generate today? Perhaps more than you realise given the increasing popularity of streaming audio or video content, “cloud” data storage, and social media. It is estimated that approximately 1 zettabyte (1021 bytes) of internet traffic was transmitted globally last year,1 which is the equivalent of about 360MB per day per person in the world. Much of the long distance, high volume internet traffic is transmitted via near infrared (NIR) light through optical fibre waveguides. At the end of the optical fibre the optical signal is turned into an electrical signal, typically for use in silicon based integrated circuits. However, presently most receivers for long distance optical fibre communications systems are based on photodiodes made from other semiconductors such as InxGa1-xAs, or Ge which are challenging and costly to integrate with silicon CMOS electronics on a single chip.

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