PHENOMEN is a ground breaking initiative designed to harness the potential of combined phononics, photonics and radio-frequency (RF) electronic signals to lay the foundations of a new information technology. To this end, PHENOMEN will exploit cavity opto-mechanics to prove the concept of GHz- frequency phononic circuits in a silicon chip working at room temperature and consuming low power.

PHENOMEN proposes to build the first practical optically-driven phonon sources and detectors including the engineering of phonon lasers to deliver coherent phonons to the rest of the chip pumped by continuous wave optical sources. The experimental implementation of phonons as an information carrier in a chip is completely novel and of a clear foundational character. It deals with interaction and manipulation of fundamental particles and their intrinsic dual wave character.
With a Consortium made up by three leading research institutes, three internationally recognised universities and a powerful industrial partner, the project members will strive to provide excellent results.

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Objectives and added value

The main objectives of PHENOMEN are:

  • To develop a practical phonon laser, by extracting phonons out of an opto-mechanical (OM) cavity based on efficient mode conversion, and detectors, by using radio-frequency (RF) transduction enabled by phase fluctuations in the coupled OM system.
  • To process phonon signals at room temperature (filtering, guiding, demultiplexing).
    To integrate phononic component for in-chip signal generation, guiding, filtering, demultiplexing and detection on a silicon platform for room temperature operation.
  • The interdisciplinary nature of the consortium will create knowledge and added value in the form of:
    Extension of theoretical tools to understand, design and test phononic and RF methods for circuits.
    Manipulation of coherent phonons with light.
  • Novel devices using OMs.
  • Establishing the effectiveness of actuation in OM-based phonon components.
  • New tools to study the interaction of light, RF signals and mechanical vibrations as parametric devices in a silicon-based circuit.
    Contribution to technological application of Cavity OM.
  • Development of new fabrication strategies to overcome the limitations of mechanical oscillators at room temperature.
  • Development of on-chip devices for all-optical processing of RF and mm-wave signals, without need for expensive, power-consuming EO interfaces.

Work packages

PHENOMEN brings together interdisciplinary scientific and technology oriented partners in an early-stage research towards the development of a radically new technology. The work plan of the project is organised in 4 Work packages: