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Nano-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems (NOEMS) are devices in which electrons, photons (optical waves) and phonons (mechanical vibrations) can coexist and interact in the nanoscale. Upon proper engineering, NOEMS may perform functionalities that are essential in ICT systems, in particular in access networks that are characterized by requiring an interface with optical fiber (to connect with metro as well as core networks) as well as by managing microwave channels (in the GHz regime) in which the information aimed at a certain user is encoded.

The need for such electro-optical interfaces will be more evident with the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) paradigm, which will require the massive deployment of access points with microwave and optical interfaces to serve as a link between the network and the object to be connected. In this sense, any technology to be used should be compatible with silicon CMOS microelectronics to ensure mass-scale production at low cost.

The long-term vision of MUSICIAN is that next generation access networks, required to implement the IoT paradigm, can include low-cost silicon NOEMS – interfaced with optical fibre and microwave electronics – to perform network functionalities such as photonic local oscillators, frequency conversion or channel filtering. To implement this vision, we will use a nanocrystalline-silicon NOEMS platform containing AlN interdigital transducers and optomechanical nanobeam cavities so that multiple functionalities are available on a single chip. MUSICIAN will improve the current performance by achieving more efficient electro-mechanical interfaces to reduce power consumption and by investigating the fundamentals of frequency fluctuations of mechanical resonators to increase oscillator quality. The aim is to demonstrate that NOEMS technology can be disruptive in 5G as well as in next-generation access networks required by IoT.

Call Topic: Nano-Opto-Electro-Mechanical Systems for ICT (NOEMS), Call 2021
Start date: (36 months)
Funding support: 838 415,02 €

Project partners

  • Universitat Politècnica de València - Spain (coordinator)
  • The International Iberian Nanotechnology Laboratory - Portugal
  • VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland Ltd - Finland
  • CNRS - Délégation Régionale Hauts-de-France - France