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  1. We present a study of optical bi-stability in a 3.02 refractive index at 1550nm plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) silicon-rich nitride (SRN) film, as it pertains to bi-stable switching, memory applications, and thermal sensing applications. In this work we utilize an SRN ring resonator device, which we first characterize at low-power and then compare thermo-optic coefficients, (2.12 ± 0.125) × 10−4/°C, obtained from thermal-heating induced resonance shifts to optically induced resonance shifts as well as estimated propagation loss and absorption. We then measure the time response of this nonlinearity demonstrating the relaxation time to be 18.7 us, indicating the mechanism to be thermal in nature. Finally, we demonstrate bi-stable optical switching.

  2. We demonstrate the DC-Kerr effect in plasma enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD) silicon-rich nitride (SRN) and use it to demonstrate a third order nonlinear susceptibility,χ<#comment/>(3), as high as(6±<#comment/>0.58)×<#comment/>10−<#comment/>19m2/V2. We employ spectral shift versus applied voltage measurements in a racetrack resonator as a tool to characterize the nonlinear susceptibilities of these films. In doing so, we demonstrate aχ<#comment/>(3)larger than that of silicon and argue that PECVD SRN can provide a versatile platform for employing optical phase shifters while maintaining a low thermal budget using a deposition technique readily available in CMOS process flows.

  3. We demonstrate the thermo-optic properties of silicon-rich silicon nitride (SRN) films deposited using plasma-enhanced chemical vapor deposition (PECVD). Shifts in the spectral response of Mach-Zehnder interferometers (MZIs) as a function of temperature were used to characterize the thermo-optic coefficients of silicon nitride films with varying silicon contents. A clear relation is demonstrated between the silicon content and the exhibited thermo-optic coefficient in silicon nitride films, with the highest achievable coefficient being as high as (1.65±0.08) ×10−4K-1. Furthermore, we realize an SRN multi-mode interferometer (MMI) based thermo-optic switch with over 20 dB extinction ratio and total power consumption for two-port switching of 50 mW.