PIX4life announces SiN photonic integrated circuit fabrication for bio- and life-science applications in the visible range
The PIX4life pilot line includes design, manufacturing, characterization, and packaging of silicon nitride photonic integrated circuits.
PIX4life (Valencia, Spain) is a European pilot line that offers photonic integrated circuits for biophotonics and life-sciences applications. After two years of internal development, the pilot line is now offering its services to a limited set of external users in an open-access approach.
"While bulk optics and visible light sources have been commonly used in biology and life sciences, many of the applications were restricted to laboratories employing large and expensive equipment," says Iñigo Artundo, CEO of VLC Photonics. "The developments of the last decade in the field of photonic integration, stimulated by new advances in silicon nitride (SiN) fabrication capabilities, have lead to a mature technology able to provide solutions for miniaturization, scalability, and cost reduction. These advances in light manipulation will support new applications for medical instrumentation, multiwavelength sources, flow cytometry, and photonic sensors. This is possible thanks to the reduction in cost and size of the required equipment from centimeter-scale optical systems to millimeter-scale photonic chips."
The PIX4life pilot line includes design, manufacturing, characterization, and packaging of photonic integrated circuits (PICs). PIX4life focuses on PIC technology in the visible and short near-infrared, a range well-suited for applications such as bio- and life sciences.
Since late 2017, interested users can apply for open access to the pilot-line services. The "early access" of these users to the service offerings is subject to an internal selection procedure to promote the realization of promising life-science concepts into prototypes.
PIX4life offers open access to several multiproject wafers (MPWs), where fabrications costs and wafer space are shared among participating users. These MPWs are organized for different technology platforms at two different SiN PIC foundries. "End users can request technical support to choose the right implementation of their optical system into a photonic chip," says Marco García, R&D manager at VLC Photonics. Once selected, users can submit a design, which will be assigned to a certain area on the wafer;each design will be replicated several times.
For more information about PIX4life and its open-access services, see http://www.pix4life.eu