EPSRC logo

Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/W035995/1
Principal Investigator: Reed, Professor GT
Other Investigators:
Chong, Professor HMH Sorel, Professor M Littlejohns, Dr C
Mashanovich, Professor G Thomson, Professor D Gardes, Professor F
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Airbus Operations Limited Alter Technology TUV Nord Anchored In Ltd
Bangor University Bay Photonics Ltd Beamlet LLC
Camgraphic Ltd Cardiff University Centre for Process Innovation CPI (UK)
Chinese University of Hong Kong City, University of London CNIT
CompoundTek Pte Ltd Compugraphics International Ltd Czech Technical University in Prague
Duality Quantum Photonics Ltd Durham, University of EPIC (Electronics & Photonics Innov Ctr)
EUROPRACTICE (International) Fudan University Heriot-Watt University
Hokkaido, University of Huawei Group Imperial College London
IQE PLC Lancaster University Loughborough University
Luceda Photonics Nanyang Technological University Newcastle University
OnPoint Digital Solutions Oxford Instruments Plc Photonics Leadership Group
Photronics (U K) Ltd Pointcloud Polytechnic University of Bari
Quantum Dice Queen's University of Belfast Resolute Photonics (UK) Ltd
Rockley Photonics Limited (UK) Royal Holloway, Univ of London Sivers Photonics Ltd
Tyndall National Institute UCL University of Bath
University of Birmingham University of Bristol University of Cambridge
University of Huddersfield University of Malaga University of Manchester, The
University of Oxford University of Sheffield University of South Wales
University of St Andrews University of Strathclyde University of Sussex
University of Sydney University of York Wave Photonics
Zero Point Motion Ltd
Department: Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC)
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 02 December 2022 Ends: 02 June 2025 Value (£): 1,538,492
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Optical Devices & Subsystems Optoelect. Devices & Circuits
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
No relevance to Underpinning Sectors
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
03 Apr 2022 EPSRC Strategic Equipment Interview Panel March 2022 - Panel 2 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Silicon photonics is the manipulation of light (photons) in silicon-based substrates, analogous to electronics, which is the manipulation of electrons. The development cycle of a silicon photonics device consists of three stages: design, fabrication, and characterisation. Whilst design and characterisation can readily be done by research groups around the country, the fabrication of silicon photonics devices, circuits and systems requires large scale investments and capital equipment such as cleanrooms, lithography, etching equipment etc. Based at the Universities of Southampton and Glasgow, CORNERSTONE 2.5 will provide world-leading fabrication capability to silicon photonics researchers and the wider science community.

Whilst silicon photonics is the focus of CORNERSTONE 2.5, it will also support other technologies that utilise similar fabrication processes, such as MEMS or microfluidics, and the integration of light sources with silicon photonics integrated circuits, as well as supporting any research area that requires high-resolution lithography.

The new specialised capabilities available to researchers to support emerging applications in silicon photonics are: 1) quantum photonics based on silicon-on-insulator (SOI) wafers; 2) programmable photonics; 3) all-silicon photodetection; 4) high efficiency grating couplers for low energy, power sensitive systems; 5) enhanced sensing platforms; and 6) light source integration to the silicon nitride platform. Access will be facilitated via a multi-project-wafer (MPW) mechanism whereby multiple users' designs will be fabricated in parallel on the same wafer. This is enabled by the 8" wafer-scale processing capability centred around a deep-UV projection lithography scanner installed at the University of Southampton.

The value of CORNERSTONE 2.5 to researchers who wish to use it is enhanced by a network of supporting companies, each providing significant expertise and added value to users. Supporting companies include process-design-kit (PDK) software specialists (Luceda Photonics), reticle suppliers (Compugraphics, Photronics), packaging facilities (Tyndall National Institute, Bay Photonics, Alter Technologies), a mass production silicon photonics foundry (CompoundTek), an epitaxy partner for germanium-on-silicon growth (IQE), fabrication processing support (Oxford Instruments), an MPW broker (EUROPRACTICE), a III-V die supplier (Sivers Semiconductors) and promotion and outreach partners (Photonics Leadership Group, EPIC, CSA Catapult, CPI, Anchored In).

Access to the new capabilities will be free-of-charge to UK academics in months 13-18 of the project, and 75% subsidised by the grant in months 19-24. During the 2-year project, we will also canvas UK demand for the capability to continue to operate as an EPSRC National Research Facility, and if so, to establish a Statement of Need.

Key Findings
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Potential use in non-academic contexts
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Description This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Date Materialised
Sectors submitted by the Researcher
This information can now be found on Gateway to Research (GtR) http://gtr.rcuk.ac.uk
Project URL:  
Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk