Recently, there have been a renewed interest on brain-inspired (neuromorphic) computing schemes that are directly implemented on a physical platform. In fact, such optical or electrical platforms allow performing important computational tasks at a speed much higher than the software-based counterparts. Here we propose to use neuromorphic silicon photonics to recover data integrity directly in the optical domain outperforming the electronic performances. We demonstrate a silicon photonic Feed Forward Network that can be trained to solve several tasks directly in the optical domain: linear and non-linear distortion recovering, demodulation of complex modulated data and error correction.
Silicon photonics is currently moving towards the Mid Infrared (MIR), which attracts plenty of emerging technologies, from integrated spectroscopy to quantum communications. However, the development of MIR-photonics is hindered by the lack of efficient detectors and light sources. A possible solution could be an integrated system able to link the MIR with the near infrared, where detectors and light sources have been already developed for telecommunications. Because of this, the possibility to perform broad and tunable wavelength conversion and generation is of great interest. In particular, the generation and conversion can be accomplished by means of Four Wave Mixing (FWM), a nonlinear optical process in which two input pump photons are converted into signal and idler photons of different frequency.
Crucial for efficient FWM is the phase matching condition, which determines the spectral position of the maximum efficiency of the process. In order to achieve large spectral translation between signal and idler, we propose to use Intermodal FWM (IMFWM), which exploits the dispersion of the higher order waveguide modes to achieve the phase matching condition. In IMFWM, the pump, signal and idler propagate on different waveguide modes. With respect to common phase matching techniques, IMFWM does not require anomalous GVD, resulting in an easier handling of the phase matching condition. Moreover, due to the sensitivity of the higher order mode dispersion with the waveguide geometry, the spectral position of the intermodal phase matching can be easily tuned by engineering the waveguide cross-section, achieving also large detunings from the pump wavelength. Another advantage is the high tolerance to the fabrication defects, related to the large widths of the multimode waveguides used.
In our work, we report the first experimental demonstration of spontaneous and stimulated on-chip IMFWM using Silicon-On-Insulator (SOI) channel multimode waveguides. We used a pulsed pump laser at 1550 nm with 10 MHz repetition rate and 40 ps pulse width. The excitation of the higher order modes is attained by displacing horizontally the input tapered lensed fiber with respect to the center of the waveguide facet.
We investigated an intermodal combination involving the pump injected on both the first and second order modes, the signal on the second order mode and the idler on the first order mode, with transverse electric polarization.
We used a 3.8-um-wide waveguide, of 1.5 cm length, to perform a spectral conversion of 140 nm with -21 dB efficiency. With the same waveguide, we measured -85 dB between the pump and the spontaneously generated idler. The coupled peak pump power was about 2 W.
We then measured the spectral position of the idler as a function of the waveguide width, achieving a maximum wavelength detuning between the idler and the signal wavelengths of 861 nm in a 2-um-wide waveguide, corresponding to the generation of 1231 nm idler and 2092 nm signal.
IMFWM enables effective and viable wavelength conversion and generation. It also promotes the development of emerging technologies, like mode division multiplexing and modal quantum interference, whose working principle relies on the higher order waveguide modes.
In this work, we report on the modeling and the experimental characterization of a 6×400 GHz silicon Arrayed Waveguide Grating (AWG). The design of the device is based on the reduction of the background noise. The good characteristics of the AWG demonstrate that unwanted reflections have a detrimental role on its performance. We demonstrate a smoothing of the output channel shape of the AWG, as well as a reduction of the crosstalk level from −20.6(1) dB to −24.4(1) dB.
In the last years, the Mid Infrared (MIR) spectral region has attracted the attention of many areas of science and technology, opening the way to important applications, such as molecular imaging, remote sensing, free- space communication and environmental monitoring. However, the development of new sources of light, such as quantum cascade laser, was not followed by an adequate improvement in the MIR detection system, able to exceed the current challenges. Here we demonstrate the single-photon counting capability of a new detection system, based on efficient up-converter modules, by proving the correlated nature of twin photons pairs at about 3.1μm, opening the way to the extension of quantum optics experiments in the MIR.
The centrosymmetric crystalline structure of Silicon inhibits second order nonlinear optical processes in this material. We report here that, by breaking the silicon symmetry with a stressing silicon nitride over-layer, Second Harmonic Generation (SHG) is obtained in suitably designed waveguides where multi-modal phase-matching is achieved. The modeling of the generated signal provides an effective strain-induced second order nonlinear coefficient of χ(2) = (0.30 ± 0.02) pm/V. Our work opens also interesting perspectives on the reverse process, the Spontaneous Parametric Down Conversion (SPDC), through which it is possible to generate mid-infrared entangled photon pairs.
Array waveguide gratings (AWGs) are a key component in WDM systems, allowing for de-multiplexing and routing of wavelength channels. A high-resolution AWG able to satisfy challenging requirements in terms of insertion loss and X-talk is what is needed to contribute to the paradigm change in the deployment of optical communication that is nowadays occurring within the ROADM architectures. In order to improve the performances and keep down the footprint, we modified the design at the star coupler (SC) and at the bending stages. We evaluated how the background noise is modified within a whiskered-shaped SC optimized to reduce the re ectivity of the SOI slab and keep down back-scattered optical signal. A dedicated heating circuit has also been designed, in order to allow for an overall tuning of the channel-output. A high-performance AWG has also to cope with possible thermal-induced environmental changes, especially in the case of integration within a Photonic Integrated Circuit (PIC). Therefore, we suggested a way to reduce the thermal-sensitivity.
In this paper, we report on time resolved electro-optic measurements in strained silicon resonators. Strain is induced by applying a mechanical deformation to the device. It is demonstrated that the linear electro-optic effect vanishes when the applied voltage modulation varies much faster than the free carrier lifetime, and that this occurs independently on the level of the applied stress. This demonstrates that, at frequencies which lie below the free carrier recombination rate, the electro-optic modulation is caused by plasma carrier dispersion. After normalizing out free carrier effects, it is found an upper limit of (8 ± 3) pm/V to the value of the strain induced χ(2)eff, zzztensor component. This is an order of magnitude lower than the previously reported values for static electro-optic measurements.
A re-visitation of the well known free space Mach Zehnder interferometer is here reported. Coexistence between one-photon and two-photons interference from collinear color entangled photon pairs is investigated. This is seen to arise from an arbitrarily small unbalance in the arm transmittance. The tuning of such asymmetry is reflected in dramatic changes in the coincidence detection, revealing beatings between one particle and two particle interference patterns. Our configuration explores new physics of the real Mach Zehnder interferometer especially useful for quantum optics on a chip, where the guiding geometry forces photons to travel in the same spatial mode.
Reconfigurable optical band interleavers based on interference in coupled racetracks are experimentally investigated.
The full reconfigurability, including a "splitter" state, is demonstrated by means of thermal tuning. A novel three
components interleaver design is presented.
Silicon photonics is the emerging optical interconnect technology where integrated nanophotonic components allow reaching high device density and improved optical functionalities. One key component is the optical microresonator. A particular kind of microresonator is the racetrack resonator where straight waveguide sections are used to achieve a large value of the coupling coefficient with a bus waveguide for any light polarization state. It is our aim to study the performances of racetrack resonators fabricated on silicon on insulator via CMOS processing. We experimentally investigated different multiple resonator designs where box-shaped filter characteristic, Vernier effect, and coupled resonator induced transparency effects are obtained. We demonstrate that racetrack resonators are instrumental to several different functions in nanophotonics and that the actual lithographic process is fully capable of building these structures.