Novel research-inspired outreach activities allow scientists and members of the public to engage in a conversation, increasing the public’s understanding and interest in scientific research. This paper reviews outreach and public engagement initiatives undertaken by researchers from the University of Southampton’s Optical Engineering and Quantum Photonics Group during a 5-year research program grant entitled Building Large Optical Quantum States. The activities have been supported by a UK Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council program grant and institutional, national and international professional organizations. The paper discusses activities and hand-outs that have been developed to increase the visibility and public understanding of integrated-photonics fabrication and testing facilities, including a cleanroom-based process for the design and fabrication of quantum outreach chips. More than 1,000 of these chips have been distributed to children, parents and government officials in public events and the activities have contributed towards the authors’ research group receiving the 2017 South East England Physics Network Highly Commended Award for Best Research Group. This paper also discusses the impact of these activities and lessons learned.
A pair of external cavity diode lasers are fabricated using an integrated planar Bragg grating. The planar waveguide and Bragg reflector is UV-written within a glass-on-silicon chip. Intensity isolated, continuous wavelength tuning at > 1kHz modulation rate is acheived using micro-heating elements fabricated directly over the Bragg grating. Low RIN (<140dB) and low linewidth (δν ~ 200 kHz) operation is found using a heterodyne measurement. We demonstrate the lasers operating in phase-locked loop configuration where one laser is frequency-offset locked to the other.