Guided-Wave Photodetectors Using Mid-Bandgap States

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Professor Rajeev Ram
Research Laboratory of Electronics, MIT
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Huaiyu Meng
Research Laboratory of Electronics, MIT
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Jason Orcutt
Research Laboratory of Electronics, MIT
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Amir Atabaki
Research Laboratory of Electronics, MIT
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Jim Freedman
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Chemicals, Instruments, Consumer Products
Patent Protection

Guided-Wave Photodetectors Using Mid-Bandgap States

US Patent Pending US 2017-0062636

Guided-Wave Photodetectors Using Mid-Bandgap States

PCT Patent Application Filed
Monolithic silicon photonics in a sub-100nm SOI CMOS microprocessor foundry: progress from devices to systems
Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 9367, Silicon Photonics X, Vol. 9367, Apr. 3, 2015
Integration of silicon photonics into electronic processes
Proceedings of SPIE Vol. 8629, Silicon Photonics VIII, Vol. 8629, Mar. 14, 2013


  • Data intensive applications such as data centers
  • Ethernet and telecommunications
  • Large-scale optoelectronics systems
  • High-speed signal processing and high-performance sensors

Problem Addressed

On-chip electro-optic interfaces in microelectronic CMOS processes present a potential for large-scale optoelectronic systems with high-speed signal processing and high-performance sensors. In order to keep the system cost and space effective, photonic integration without in-foundry process modifications is required. Although substantial progress has been made with optical links and interconnects, wavelength restrictions make optoelectronic systems inappropriate for Ethernet (1310 nm required) and telecommunications applications (1550 nm primarily used). This is the first 1550 nm defect states based photodetector integrated in zero-change CMOS.


An infrared photodetector was invented for optical systems implementation on CMOS platforms. Sensitive to 1550nm wavelengths and integrated in zero-change CMOS, the photodetector has a high operational efficiency due to low-loss signal routing, innovative detector constructions and quantum efficiency enhancements. All of these inventions were achieved on CMOS integrable materials, making this technology highly commercializable.


  • Photodetector design operational in telecommunication wavelengths (1550nm)
  • Employs only CMOS processes and materials
  • Quantum efficiency enhancements ensures high signal sensitivity
  • Low-loss signal routing ensures excellent detection rates¬†