Electro-Photonics combines the best of both electronics and optics to tackle the challenges of next generation optical communication networks in terms of capacity, flexibility, and energy efficiency. The optimal sharing of the processing work load between the electrical and optical domain brings considerable benefits to communication system complexity, performance, and construction as well as operational cost. As a key technology, photonic integrated circuits (PICs) play a critical role for the implementation of signal processing in the optical domain, serving for signal generation, switching, and acquisition. PICs point to advancing of network devices such as transmitters, receivers, and switches with desirable features of large bandwidth, high stability, precise control, easy tuning, and potential for low-cost fabrication by enabling miniaturization of complex optical systems on a chip scale. In this paper, we review the PIC research progress of the Monash Electro-Photonics Laboratory and its major contributions to the fields of optical communications and microwave photonics. We focus on applications in optical orthogonal frequency division multiplexing (O-OFDM), Nyquist wavelength division multiplexing (N-WDM), optical pulse manipulation, and programmable optical processors. The results of these works underline not only hardware fabrication capability and performance improvement for electrophotonics, but, more importantly, a new engineering paradigm that stimulates innovations in information and communication technologies.
In this article a selection of highlights of the TriPleX™ technology of LioniX is given. The basic waveguide technology is explained with recent benchmark measurements done by University California Santa Barbara (UCSB) and University Twente (UT-TE). In order to show the low loss transparency over a wide wavelength range three examples of applications in different wavelength regimes are described in more detail. These are the Integrated Laser Beam Combiner (ILBC) of XiO Photonics in the visible light, a ringresonator sensing platform of LioniX around 850 nm and a phased array antenna with an Optical Beam Forming Network in the 1550 nm band. Furthermore it is shown that the technology is easily accessible via Multi Project Wafer Runs for which the infrastructure and design libraries are also set up.
We present a new class of low-loss integrated optical waveguide structures as CMOS-compatible industrial standard for photonic integration on silicon or glass. A TriPleXTM waveguide is basically formed by a -preferably rectangular- silicon nitride (Si<sub>3</sub>N<sub>4</sub>) shell filled with and encapsulated by silicon dioxide (SiO<sub>2</sub>). The constituent materials are low-cost stoichiometric LPVCD end products which are very stable in time. Modal characteristics, birefringence, footprint size and insertion loss are controlled by design of the geometry. Several examples of new applications will be presented to demonstrate its high potential for large-scale integrated optical circuits for telecommunications, sensing and visible light applications.
In this paper a novel CW laser-compatible, squint-free, continuously tunable ring resonator-based optical beamformer
mechanism for a phased array receiver system is proposed and partly demonstrated. When the optical delay elements and
optical signal processing circuitry are integrated on a chip, a single-chip optical beam forming network (OBFN) is
obtained. The optical delay elements are ideally continuously tunable to achieve continuous control of the beam
direction, and should have a flat delay and magnitude response over the signal band, to avoid distortion. In the proposed
system architecture, filter-based optical single-sideband suppressed-carrier modulation and balanced coherent optical
detection are used. Such architecture has significant advantages over a straightforward architecture using optical
intensity modulation and direct optical detection, namely reduced complexity of the OBFN chip, and enhanced dynamic
range. Measurements on an actual 1×8 OBFN chip and an optical sideband filter chip are presented. Both are realized in
CMOS-compatible planar optical waveguide technology (TriPleX).