Energy-efficient ultrafast all-optical signal processing may contribute to solving growing bandwidth and energy challenges in optical telecommunications. However, conventional solutions for all-optical data processing rely on nonlinear optical materials with inherent minimum power requirements and trade-offs between bandwidth and speed. In contrast, the coherent interaction of light-with-light in an absorber of nanoscale thickness can facilitate high-contrast modulation of one optical signal with another, ultimately with few-femtosecond response times and at arbitrarily low (even single photon) intensities.
We report here on the first demonstration of a fiberized metamaterial device for all-optical signal processing based upon coherent modulation of absorption. The integrated metadevice is based on a plasmonic metamaterial of nanoscale thickness fabricated on the core area of a single-mode optical fibre, and designed to operate over the 1530 – 1565 nm telecoms wavelength range. We demonstrate signal processing operations analogous to logical NOT, XOR and AND functions at effective rates from tens of kbit/s up to 40 Gbit/s with energy consumption as low as 2.5 fJ/bit, as well as selective absorption and transmission of picosecond pulses and the generation of 1 ps ‘dark pulses’. We anticipate that such metadevices, with THz bandwidth, may provide solutions for quantum information networks as well as orders-of-magnitude improvements in speed and energy consumption over existing nonlinear approaches to all-optical signal processing in coherent information networks.
Here we show the results of an experimental analysis dedicated to investigate the impact of optical non linear effects, such as two-photon absorption (TPA), free-carrier absorption (FCA) and free-carrier dispersion (FCD), on the performance of integrated micro-resonator based filters for application in WDM telecommunication systems. The filters were fabricated using SOI (Silicon-on-Insulator) technology by CEA-Leti, in the frame of the FP7 Fabulous Project, which aims to develop low-cost and high-performance integrated optical devices to be used in new generation passive optical- networks (NG-PON2). Different designs were tested, including both ring-based structures and racetrack-based structures, with single-, double- or triple- resonator configuration, and using different waveguide cross-sections (from 500 x 200 nm to 825 x 100 nm). Measurements were carried out using an external cavity tunable laser source operating in the extended telecom bandwidth, using both continuous wave signals and 10 Gbit/s modulated signals. Results show that the use 100-nm high waveguide allows reducing the impact of non-linear losses, with respect to the standard waveguides, thus increasing by more than 3 dB the maximum amount of optical power that can be injected into the devices before causing significant non-linear effects. Measurements with OOK-modulated signals at 10 Gbit/s showed that TPA and FCA don’t affect the back-to-back BER of the signal, even when long pseudo-random-bit-sequences (PRBS) are used, as the FCD-induced filter-detuning increases filter losses but “prevents” excessive signal degradation.
We present the characterization of Silicon-on-insulator (SOI) photonic-crystal based 2D grating-couplers (2D-GCs) fabricated by CEA-Leti in the frame of the FP7 Fabulous project, which is dedicated to the realization of devices and systems for low-cost and high-performance passives-optical-networks. On the analyzed samples different test structures are present, including 2D-GC connected to another 2D-GC by different waveguides (in a Mach-Zehnder like configuration), and 2D-GC connected to two separate 2D-GCs, so as to allow a complete assessment of different parameters. Measurements were carried out using a tunable laser source operating in the extended telecom bandwidth and a fiber-based polarization controlling system at the input of device-under-test. The measured data yielded an overall fiber-to-fiber loss of 7.5 dB for the structure composed by an input 2D-GC connected to two identical 2D-GCs. This value was obtained at the peak wavelength of the grating, and the 3-dB bandwidth of the 2D-GC was assessed to be 43 nm. Assuming that the waveguide losses are negligible, so as to make a worst-case analysis, the coupling efficiency of the single 2D-GC results to be equal to -3.75 dB, constituting, to the best of our knowledge, the lowest value ever reported for a fully CMOS compatible 2D-GC. It is worth noting that both the obtained values are in good agreement with those expected by the numerical simulations performed using full 3D analysis by Lumerical FDTD-solutions.
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<sup>-5</sup>.
Communication traffic grows relentlessly in today’s networks, and with ever more machines connected to the network, this trend is set to continue for the foreseeable future. It is widely accepted that increasingly faster communications are required at the point of the end users, and consequently optical transmission plays a progressively greater role even in short- and medium-reach networks. Silicon photonic technologies are becoming increasingly attractive for such networks, due to their potential for low cost, energetically efficient, high-speed optical components. A representative example is the silicon-based optical modulator, which has been actively studied. Researchers have demonstrated silicon modulators in different types of structures, such as ring resonators or slow light based devices. These approaches have shown remarkably good performance in terms of modulation efficiency, however their operation could be severely affected by temperature drifts or fabrication errors. Mach-Zehnder modulators (MZM), on the other hand, show good performance and resilience to different environmental conditions. In this paper we present a CMOS-compatible compact silicon MZM. We study the application of the modulator to short-reach interconnects by realizing data modulation using some relevant advanced modulation formats, such as 4-level Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM-4) and Discrete Multi-Tone (DMT) modulation and compare the performance of the different systems in transmission.