Couplers for intra-chip coupling to silicon photonic integrated circuits

The Need

Photonic circuits, where data is transferred by beams of light instead of copper or gold wires, have the potential to revolutionize the fields of computer science and communications. Compared to state-of-the-art technologies, photonic circuits could provide faster processing speeds and data transfer with lower power consumption and heat production. Although significant research and development has been dedicated to photonic circuits, current systems are not fully integrated and must perform a down conversion from optical to electrical signal. To develop a robust photonic system, the gap must be bridged between high-speed fiber-optic cables and copper intergrated circuits.

The Technology

Researchers at The Ohio State University, led by Dr. Ronald Reano, have developed optical couplers for pairing a light-transmitting fiber to a standard copper-based circuit. The design give a smaller dB loss than other coupling designs. The technology is efficient, coss effective, and mass producible as it is silicon-based.

Commercial Applications

  • Information Technology
  • Telecommunications
  • Health Care
  • Defense
  • High Performance Data Centers
  • Photonic integrated circuits: sensing, communications, and computing


  • On the dimensional scale of micrometers
  • Able to be mass produced
  • Silicon based
  • Low dB losses
  • Power saving
  • Inherently compact, stable, and reproducible
  • New method to achieve complete chip-scale functionalities in silicon photonic integrated circuits
  • Empowers silicon with the full suite of optical functionalities

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