A technique for realizing electrically erasable photonics devices using micro-heaters for localized annealing of lattice defects in silicon is presented. The lattice defects have previously been introduced by ion implantation in order to cause a refractive index change. This technique can be used to fabricate electrically erasable on-chip directional couplers (DCs). These devices can be used for wafer scale testing of photonics circuits, allowing testing of individual optical components in a complex photonic integrated circuit, or components for programmable optical circuits, whilst inducing negligible additional optical loss when erased electrically.
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