Silicon Photonics has emerged as an enabling technology for both short-reach and intermediate range
data-communications. Products are now under deployment and the promise of 30 years of research is
being realized. While many potential and varied applications exist, the requirement for a high yield,
high-bandwidth solution to the needs of the ever-expanding data-centers is the area in which silicon
photonics will dominate (at least initially). What then is there left for academics to work on? In this talk I
will discuss several projects underway at McMaster University which seek to underpin future silicon- based optoelectronics and result in new communications windows, cheaper processing, and lower
Professor Andy Knights received the Ph.D. degree from the University of East Anglia in 1995 for work on
fundamental interactions of charged particles and solid surfaces. Following post-doctoral appointments
at Western University and the UK Ion Beam Research Centre, he became a Principal Engineer at
Bookham Technology, the first company to bring silicon photonics to the market. In 2003 he joined the
Department of Engineering Physics at McMaster University and established one of Canada’s first silicon
photonics research groups. He introduced the concept of ion implantation-based defect engineering in
silicon optical waveguides and as a direct result developed the defect-mediated monolithic detector,
capable of optical to electrical conversion at sub-band gap wavelengths at 1550nm and up to 2100nm.
Professor Knights is currently Director of the McMaster Centre for Emerging Device Technologies.