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Second Harmonic Generation in Silicon Based Heterostructures: The Role of Strain and Symmetry

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Silicon is today the electronic material par excellence. Nevertheless the increasing demand for new, innovative and more efficient devices has driven scientists to explore new functionalities in Si-based materials. In silicon photonics the introduction of second-order nonlinearity by proper material engineering would be highly desirable. However a bulk second-order dipolar nonlinear optical susceptibility in Si is forbidden due to the bulk crystal centrosymmetry. Different approaches have been used to break this inversion symmetry: interfacing Si with different materials and/or introducing strain. In this paper we theoretically investigate second-harmonic generation, described by the second-order nonlinear susceptibility χ (2) in Si/Ge heterostructures. The role of symmetry and strain will be carefully analyzed also through a comparison with the computed results for unstrained and strained bulk Si and SiC systems, the first system being initially centrosymmetric, the second from the start non centrosymmetric. Thus we are able to elucidate the type of strain and symmetry breaking necessary to induce, tune and enhance second-harmonic generations in different energy regions for Si-based systems.


Document Type: Short Communication

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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  • Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Letters (NNL) is a multidisciplinary peer-reviewed journal consolidating nanoscale research activities in all disciplines of science, engineering and medicine into a single and unique reference source. NNL provides the means for scientists, engineers, medical experts and technocrats to publish original short research articles as communications/letters of important new scientific and technological findings, encompassing the fundamental and applied research in all disciplines of the physical sciences, engineering and medicine.
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