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Energy Harvesting in Silicon Photonics

Two-photon absorption is the central problem in silicon photonic devices. Two-photon photovoltaic effect can be used to harvest the lost optical power into useful electrical power. Silicon is on the verge of becoming the material of choice for certain photonic applications . Much progress has been made in this field towards low-loss waveguides, photodetectors, electro-optic modulators, light sources and optical amplifiers. However, not much attention has been paid to the power dissipation of these photonic devices.
With the chip power dissipation already being the primary problem faced by the VLSI industry, high power consumption of photonic devices will undoubtedly diminish the prospects of their integration with CMOS electronics. The power dissipation of silicon photonic devices is therefore of paramount importance if they are to be compatible with CMOS VLSI technology.

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