Ghosh Receives NSF CAREER Award to Design a Platform for Ultra-Compact Signal Processing

Siddhartha Ghosh

ECE Assistant Professor Siddhartha Ghosh received an NSF CAREER Award for “Semiconductor on Nitride PhoXonic Integrated Circuit (SONIC) Platform for Chip-Scale RF and Optical Signal Processing,” to develop novel microsystems that seamlessly integrate in one platform signal processing of multiple domains to advance RF communications and information processing, as well as quantum computing.

Abstract Source: NSF

This project aims to develop novel microsystems that enable seamless interaction between acoustic, optical, and electrical fields to generate transformative effects in communications and information processing. In particular, the devices envisioned herein will simultaneously control ‘phoXons’ (i.e., phonons or photons) and the interactions between them to enable unique opportunities. The research and education plans proposed in this project will directly advance national priorities such as the CHIPS and Science Act and the National Quantum Initiative by revolutionizing multifunctional phoXonic microsystems. This project will develop approaches to enable enhanced functionality in radio-frequency front-end (RFFE) signal processing components that can provide a paradigm shift for system efficiency and spectrum utilization in the $20 billion global market for RFFE modules by enabling seamless integration of major components, which currently require separate modules. Likewise, distributed quantum processing through microwave-optical transducers will generate new opportunities for addressing major societal problems such as drug discovery and supply chain optimization. Given the massive proliferation of communication and computing technologies in the coming years, there is a distinct need for engineers conversant in manipulating acoustic, optical and electric fields using modern semiconductor technology. Collaborating with the highly successful Center for STEM Education at Northeastern University, the proposed educational/outreach program will also engage more than 50 students (primary school / graduate levels) in each year of the program, through STEM field trips, high school programs, undergraduate research and a 2-course sequence on phononic integrated circuits to attract new students to the field.

This CAREER project is dedicated to advancing novel functionalities in RF acoustic microsystems and enabling highly reconfigurable acousto-optics. This will be implemented through the development of the Semiconductor on Nitride PhoXonic Integrated Circuit (SONIC). The core contributions of this program will involve the success of 4 major tasks: 1) demonstration of low-loss phononic devices, 2) efficient acoustic wave amplification, 3) acousto-optic system development and 4) acoustoelectrically-enhanced optomechanical structures. While these device classes have all been validated in separate demonstrations, they have never been co-integrated in this manner. Based on strong preliminary results from the PI’s laboratory, the PI hypothesizes this approach will offer significant advances to the state-of-the-art (SoA) in applications such as integrated circulators, reconfigurable time-delay synthesizers, efficient acousto-optic modulators and enhanced Brillouin effects in ultra-stable chip-scale lasers. SONIC devices will therefore provide significant impacts in producing compact systems that can concurrently serve multiple bands (0.1-20 GHz), provide a trade-off of gain with added bandwidth and enable loss-compensated delays spanning a range not accessible with CMOS or photonics alone. SONIC will also enable hybrid quantum systems using phonon buses or microwave-optical conversion for next-generation quantum networks.

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Related Faculty: Siddhartha Ghosh

Related Departments:Electrical & Computer Engineering