Next generation mobile devices and computing architectures would benefit from ultra-high bandwidth technologies that efficiently transport and process optical signals. Subsurface fabrication can address this challenge by forming volumetric photonic integrated circuits with a more compact aerial footprint than planar on-chip circuits. These 3D optical systems may utilize densely packed low-loss, freeform optical interconnects for high volume data transfer. In this Perspective, we provide a comparative overview of the two main methods for subsurface fabrication, including our recently developed SCRIBE process, and assess the advantages and future directions of each approach. After analyzing the underlying technologies, we provide a roadmap of important steps to transition from laboratory demonstrations of individual elements to industrial-scale production of subsurface volumetric photonic integrated circuits.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)