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Silicon MEMS for Photonic Bandgap Devices

Eric M. Yeatman

Eric M. Yeatman

Deputy Head of Optical and Semiconductor Devices Research Group
Imperial College London, UK

Eric Yeatman graduated from Dalhousie University (Canada) with a BEng in Engineering Physics, and an MSc in Physics, and obtained his PhD from Imperial College in 1989. Since then he has been a member of staff in the Electrical and Electronic Engineering Department, Optical and Semiconductor Devices Group, most recently as Senior Lecturer and Deputy Head of Group. He has published about 50 papers on integrated optics, optical devices and materials, microstructure fabrication, and ultrasonics. A key area of work has been sol-gel integrated optics, on which topic he has co-ordinated two major EU funded collaborations. His current research also includes piezoelectric films for micromechanics, and microstructures for microwave applications.\nEric Yeatman is Hon. Sec. of the Electronic Applications Divisional Board of the Inst. of Materials, member of IEE Professional Group S11 (Microengineering), and Editor of The International Journal of Electronics.

INTERESTS I am interested in the application of new materials and processes to microengineered devices and systems, particularly integrated optics and 3-D microstructures. I have been particularly concerned with the use of sol-gel methods to fabricate waveguides, with self-assembly techniques and with the use of optical surface waves (plasmons) in microscopy and modulation.

ACHIEVEMENTS I was the first to demonstrate both surface plasmon microscopy and surface plasmon based on spatial light modulators. I also developed the first theoretical model for this process, allowing resolution to be predicted, and was the co-inventor of the surface tension based microstructure self-assembly technique. We have developed semiconductor-doped glass waveguides on silicon, with particle size controlled by pore morphology, and demonstrated optical nonlinearity in these. We also developed molecular probe ellipsometry for analysing nano-pore structure in thin films, and have made the first demonstration of gain in erbium-doped sol-gel waveguides.

VISIONS More effective integration of gain and nonlinearity in optical waveguides will allow the development of planar lightwave circuits with a much higher functionality. In particular, signal processing functions for high speed optical communications will remove the electronic bottleneck and make terabit networks practical. In Microsystems, the improved integration of electronic, optical, mechanical and other functionality will make highly complex integrated systems possible. These will use distributed intelligence to carry out tasks we are just beginning to imagine.

Speaking in the special symposium on Sensors & Systems.

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