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14 March 2016 Ultra-low-power silicon photonics wavelength converter for phase-encoded telecommunication signals
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Proceedings Volume 9752, Silicon Photonics XI; 975211 (2016)
Event: SPIE OPTO, 2016, San Francisco, California, United States
The development of compact, low power, silicon photonics CMOS compatible components for all-optical signal processing represents a key step towards the development of fully functional platforms for next generation all-optical communication networks. The wavelength conversion functionality at key nodes is highly desirable to achieve transparent interoperability and wavelength routing allowing efficient management of network resources operated with high speed, phase encoded signals. All optical wavelength conversion has already been demonstrated in Si-based devices, mainly utilizing the strong Kerr effect that silicon exhibits at telecommunication wavelengths. Unfortunately, Two Photon Absorption (TPA) and Free Carrier (FC) effects strongly limit their performance, even at moderate power levels, making them unsuitable for practical nonlinear applications. Amorphous silicon has recently emerged as a viable alternative to crystalline silicon (c-Si), showing both an enhanced Kerr as well as a reduced TPA coefficient at telecom wavelengths, with respect to its c-Si counterpart. Here we present an ultra-low power wavelength converter based on a passive, CMOS compatible, 1-mm long amorphous silicon waveguide operated at a maximum pump power level of only 70 mW. We demonstrate TPA-free Four Wave Mixing (FWM)-based wavelength conversion of Binary Phase Shift Keyed (BPSK) and Quadrature Phase Shift Keyed (QPSK) signals at 20 Gbit/s with <1 dB power penalty at BER = 10-5.
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C. Lacava, M. A. Ettabib, I. Cristiani, J.-M. Fedeli, D. J. Richardson, and P. Petropoulos "Ultra-low-power silicon photonics wavelength converter for phase-encoded telecommunication signals", Proc. SPIE 9752, Silicon Photonics XI, 975211 (14 March 2016);

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