Silicon Nitride Integrated Photonics and Supercontinuum Lasers, Two Cutting Edge Technologies That Work Great Together

Advantages of Silicon Nitride

Integrated photonics has emerged as a pivotal technology in advancing optical communication, sensing, and quantum computing. But in this field, silicon nitride (SiN) photonic components are particularly promising. Known for their low propagation losses, high power handling, and wide transparency window, these kinds of components are perfect for many applications.  

As mentioned before, one of the primary advantages of SiN is its broad transparency window, which extends from the visible spectrum into the near-infrared. This wide operational range allows SiN photonic components to be used in various applications, including optical communication, biosensing, and quantum photonics. This versatility is unmatched by many other photonic materials, which often have more limited spectral ranges.  

Another key characteristic of these components is their exceptionally low propagation losses across their transparency window. This low loss is crucial for maintaining signal integrity over long distances and complex photonic circuits. Reduced optical losses translate to more efficient devices, lower power consumption, and enhanced performance in applications such as wavelength division multiplexing (WDM) and on-chip optical interconnects. 

SiN’s ability to handle high optical power without significant nonlinear effects is another significant advantage. This characteristic makes SiN an excellent material for high-power photonic applications, including amplifiers and high-intensity lasers. The high-power handling capability also ensures the reliability and stability of SiN photonic components in demanding environments. 

Strong Correlation Between the Supercontinuum Fiber Laser and SiN Integrated Photonic

As you can see, this material’s strong points are related to the characteristics of the FYLA Supercontinuum Fiber Laser we have explained in previous application notes. One good example of this strong correlation is the publication “SiN integrated photonic components in the visible to near-infrared spectral region” by Matteo Sanna from the University of Trento. In this publication, the author and his collaborators characterize different structures in SiN using a previous version of the Iceblink Supercontinuum laser. 

The process of characterization was realized using a very simple setup (Figure 1) formed by the FYLA Supercontinuum Laser, free-space wave-plates 𝜆/4 and 𝜆/2 to determine the desired polarization, two single-mode tapered fiber, an optical spectrum analyzer (OSA) and the SiN-based photonic integrated circuit (PIC) they tested. 

Figure 1 – Experimental setup
Figure 1 – Experimental setup


During the characterization process they measure the behavior of different basic building blocks and conclude that they exhibit state-of-the-art performances, characterized by low insertion losses and high efficiency [1]. At the same time, and without any intention, they demonstrate the strong correlation between the Supercontinuum Lasers and SiN integrated photonic.


This correlation is evident when you look at the: 

Wavelength CompatibilityThe FYLA Supercontinuum broad wavelength range is particularly beneficial for SiN photonic components, which operate effectively from the visible to the NIR region. This compatibility ensures that the laser can be used for a wide range of applications, from biosensing and spectroscopy to optical communication. 

Low Propagation LossesSiN waveguides exhibit low propagation losses across the FYLA Supercontinuum operating wavelengths, enhancing the overall efficiency of photonic circuits. This is crucial for maintaining signal integrity and achieving high-performance operation in complex photonic systems. 

High-Power HandlingThe FYLA Supercontinuum high power output aligns well with SiN’s capability to handle high optical power without significant nonlinear effects. This synergy allows for the development of high-power photonic devices and circuits, essential for applications requiring strong signal amplification and long-distance communication. 

The FYLA SCT 500 laser, with its broad wavelength range and power stability, is an excellent choice for enhancing the performance of SiN integrated photonic components. Its integration into SiN photonic systems enables a wide array of applications in optical communication, sensing, and quantum photonics, pushing the boundaries of what is achievable with integrated photonic technologies.