A photonic lantern is an adiabatic guided-wave transition between a multimode waveguide and a set of single-mode cores. As such, photonic lanterns facilitate the efficient coupling of multimode light to single-mode devices, examples of which include fibre Bragg gratings and arrayed waveguide gratings. In this work, we demonstrate that photonic lanterns based on tapered multicore fibres (MCFs) provide a potentially powerful new route to efficiently couple multimode states of light to a two-dimensional array of Single Photon Avalanche Detectors (SPADs). The SPAD array consists of a 32×32 square array of pixels, each of which has its own time to digital converter (TDC) for Time Correlated Single Photon Counting (TCSPC) with a timing resolution of 55 ps. For our application, the geometry of the MCF used to fabricate the photonic lantern was chosen such that each single mode in the MCF can be mapped onto an individual SPAD pixel. Upon injecting a broad supercontinuum signal into a 290 m long MCF via a photonic lantern, wavelength-to-time mapped spectra were obtained from all modes. We believe that the techniques we report here may find applications in areas such as Raman spectroscopy, coherent LIDAR, and quantum optics.
Harikumar K. Chandrasekharan, Frauke Izdebski, Itandehui Gris-Sánchez, Nikola Krstajić, Richard Walker, Helen L. Bridle, Paul A. Dalgarno, William N. MacPherson, Robert K. Henderson, Timothy A. Birks, and Robert R. Thomson, "Multiplexed wavelength-to-time conversion of multimode light (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10106, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XXI, 101060E (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 31, 2017; Published: 19 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2252482.5393342270001.
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