updated 12:44 PM UTC, Nov 23, 2020

About Us

CORNERSTONE is a license free, open source Silicon Photonics rapid prototyping foundry. The technology platform utilises industrially-compatible tools (e.g. deep-UV projection lithography), to enable seamless scaling-up of production volumes, whilst also retaining device level innovation capability using high-resolution lithography (e-beam) and versatile processes.

CORNERSTONE currently offers 3 different silicon-on-insulator platforms (220 nm Si / 2 µm BOX, 340 nm Si / 2 µm BOX and 500 nm Si / 3 µm BOX) via a multi-project-wafer (MPW) service, enabling a plethora of applications including datacom, LIDAR, mid-infrared sensing etc. The unique hybrid processing (DUV projection lithography and e-beam lithography) capability renders the CORNERSTONE platform attractive to both academia and industry, and is able to mimic advanced industrial processes. In addition, CORNERSTONE offers a DUV lithography service, which is currently free-of-charge for UK academics.

CORNERSTONE 2 will introduce 6 exciting new silicon based platforms based on demand from users, all of which will be available from the summer of 2021.

Bespoke fabrication batches are available upon request. If you have any queries you can email us at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

A general overview of the CORNERSTONE project and its capabilities can be downloaded below.

Alternatively you can watch a webinar recorded in February 2020, in collaboration with the PIC Magazine, which presents an overview of CORNERSTONE. Register for free here.

CORNERSTONE is a collaboration between three UK universities:

  • University of Southampton (wafer-scale processing)
  • University of Glasgow (chip-level processing)
  • University of Surrey (ion implantation)

University of Southampton
The Silicon Photonics Group (www.siliconphotonics.co.uk) was formed by Professor Graham T. Reed at the University of Surrey in 1989.

The group carried out the original work upon which the first company in silicon photonics was built, Bookham Technology (now Oclaro), founded by Reed’s PhD student, Dr Andrew Rickman OBE.

Over the last 27 years, the group has made a significant contribution in the field of silicon photonics and reported many world’s first results, most notably in waveguides, optical modulators and detectors, couplers, filters, multiplexers, and transceivers. From 2012, the group has been based at the Optoelectronics Research Centre (www.orc.soton.ac.uk), University of Southampton (www.soton.ac.uk), UK. We have access to outstanding fabrication and characterisation facilities. We fabricate our photonic devices in the Southampton Nanofabrication Centre (www.zeplerinstitute.ac.uk), a state-of-the-art facility for microfabrication and high-spec nanofabrication, one of the premiere cleanrooms in Europe.

University of Glasgow
The optoelectronics group (www.gla.ac.uk/schools/engineering/research/divisions/ene/researchthemes/opto) is one of the most long established research activities in the University of Glasgow. The group have been responsible for many breakthroughs in integrated optics and semiconductor laser devices, leading to many successful spinout activities including Gemfire, Intense and Cascade.

The group benefits from the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre in the University of Glasgow, its own excellent test and measurement facilities, and a great many collaborations in the UK and overseas.

The University of Glasgow is home to the James Watt Nanofabrication Centre (JWNC), a 1350 metre square clean room facility featuring world-leading electron beam lithography capability. This is complemented with a variety of dry etch reactors, comprehensive optical photolithography and nano-imprinting facilities, metal and plasma depositions, and a full range of support facilities for the design and fabrication of integrated photonic devices, including computational modelling and characterization tools. Within the CORNERSTONE project, the University of Glasgow will provide fabrication capabilities and expertise with a focus on high resolution patterning and chip level processing.

University of Surrey
The Ion Beam Centre (IBC) at the University of Surrey (www.surrey.ac.uk/ati/ibc/) is a National Facility supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The IBC aims to promote and facilitate world class research in the field of ion beam applications for the UK academic and industrial communities.

The IBC allows users to undertake a wide variety of research using ion implantation, ion beam analysis (IBA) and microbeam analysis. The IBC also has extensive processing and characterization facilities.