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Gamma radiation effects on silicon photonic waveguides

Abstract

To support the use of integrated photonics in harsh environments, such as outer space, the hardness threshold to high-energy radiation must be established. Here, we investigate the effects of gamma (γ) rays, with energy in the MeV-range, on silicon photonic waveguides. By irradiation of high-quality factor amorphous silicon core resonators, we measure the impact of γ rays on the materials incorporated in our waveguide system, namely amorphous silicon, silicon dioxide, and polymer. While we show the robustness of amorphous silicon and silicon dioxide up to an absorbed dose of 15 Mrad, more than 100× higher than previous reports on crystalline silicon, polymer materials exhibit changes with doses as low as 1 Mrad.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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