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The photonics program at the University of Ottawa, including my CERC Program, has made a major commitment to nanotechnology and specifically to develop a full-range nanofabrication facility within our new photonics building. The facility will contain all of the basic elements of a modern nanofabrication facility, including an e-beam writer, a plasma etching station, mask aligner, and associated diagnostic equipment such as a scanning-electron microscope system, ellipsometer, profilometer, and various wave-guide characterization systems.
This fabrication facility will be crucial to the success of the development of slow-light waveguides and the slow light spectrometer mentioned above. We are also interested in fabricating structured waveguides with properties tailored to enhance the nonlinear optical response, which could lead to highly efficient switching devices. Currently the losses associated with our slow-light waveguides remain large, and we are addressing this problem both by developing improved fabrication methods and by developing designs that are relatively insensitive to the waveguide loss.