Flexible Single-Crystal Silicon Nanomembrane Photonic Crystal Cavity

Flexible inorganic electronic devices promise numerous applications, especially in fields that could not be covered satisfactorily by conventional rigid devices. Benefits on a similar scale are also foreseeable for silicon photonic components. However, the difficulty in transferring intricate silicon photonic devices has deterred widespread development. In this paper, we demonstrate a flexible single-crystal silicon nanomembrane photonic crystal microcavity through a bonding and substrate removal approach. The transferred cavity shows a quality factor of 2.2 × 104 and could be bent to a curvature of 5 mm radius without deteriorating the performance compared to its counterparts on rigid substrates. A thorough characterization of the device reveals that the resonant wavelength is a linear function of the bending-induced strain. The device also shows a curvature-independent sensitivity to the ambient index variation.