Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Photonics: Double twist

09.06.2011
A silicon waveguide that converts the polarization mode of light could speed up the operation of photonic circuits

Silicon is the dominant material for the fabrication of integrated circuits and is also becoming a popular material for making photonics circuits—miniaturized circuits that use light instead of electronic signals for processing information. One of the challenges in the field, however, has been silicon’s intrinsic sensitivity to the polarization of light, which can limit the rate of information transmission. Jing Zhang, Tsung-Yang Liow and co-workers at the A*STAR Institute of Microelectronics have now developed a novel solution to this problem[1].

Light of different polarizations, which normally travel at the same speed in air, travel at different speeds in silicon waveguides due to random imperfections and asymmetries in the silicon itself. To overcome this problem, the researchers turned to a scheme known as ‘polarization diversity’, by which incoming light is split into two perpendicular modes of polarization, called the transverse electric (TE) and transverse magnetic (TM) modes. They then rotated the TM mode by 90° so that both of the modes propagate in parallel at the same speed inside the photonic circuit.

Zhang, Liow and their co-workers had previously demonstrated a silicon-based device, called a polarization rotator, which comprises the first half of the diversity scheme (see image). The rotator transforms TM light into TE light by passing the light through a horizontal waveguide and then rotating it into a vertical waveguide. In their present work, they designed, built and characterized a device that completes the second half of the scheme. Called a polarization mode converter, it transforms TE light in the vertical waveguide into TE light in a horizontal waveguide. By connecting their mode converter to their rotator, the researchers were able to construct a polarization diversity scheme that provides mode conversion to reduce propagation loss in the waveguide while retaining the original polarization state.

Both halves of the polarization rotation device work by gradually changing the geometry of the waveguide, which in turn changes the polarization mode of the light it is guiding. The Singapore research team characterized their devices by studying the signal loss introduced over the transition length between polarization modes, as well as the propagation loss in the rest of the device. They found that the device efficiencies would need to be improved to be practical, for example by reducing the roughness of the waveguide walls through thermal oxidation, and by improving the coupling between the waveguide and the fiber optic cable connected to it.

The A*STAR-affiliated researchers contributing to this research are from the Institute of Microelectronics

Journal information

[1] Zhang, J., Liow, T.-Y., Yu, M., Lo, G.-Q. & Kwong, D.-L. Silicon waveguide based TE mode converter. Optics Express 18, 25264–25270 (2010).

Lee Swee Heng | Research asia research news
Further information:
http://www.research.a-star.edu.sg/research/6333
http://www.researchsea.com

More articles from Physics and Astronomy:

nachricht First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'
26.05.2017 | University of Leicester

nachricht Measured for the first time: Direction of light waves changed by quantum effect
24.05.2017 | Vienna University of Technology

All articles from Physics and Astronomy >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Can the immune system be boosted against Staphylococcus aureus by delivery of messenger RNA?

Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.

Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a bacterium that colonizes by far more than half of the skin and the mucosa of adults, usually without causing infections....

Im Focus: A quantum walk of photons

Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.

The quantum computer has fuelled the imagination of scientists for decades: It is based on fundamentally different phenomena than a conventional computer....

Im Focus: Turmoil in sluggish electrons’ existence

An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.

We can refer to electrons in non-conducting materials as ‘sluggish’. Typically, they remain fixed in a location, deep inside an atomic composite. It is hence...

Im Focus: Wafer-thin Magnetic Materials Developed for Future Quantum Technologies

Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.

Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...

Im Focus: World's thinnest hologram paves path to new 3-D world

Nano-hologram paves way for integration of 3-D holography into everyday electronics

An Australian-Chinese research team has created the world's thinnest hologram, paving the way towards the integration of 3D holography into everyday...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Marine Conservation: IASS Contributes to UN Ocean Conference in New York on 5-9 June

24.05.2017 | Event News

AWK Aachen Machine Tool Colloquium 2017: Internet of Production for Agile Enterprises

23.05.2017 | Event News

Dortmund MST Conference presents Individualized Healthcare Solutions with micro and nanotechnology

22.05.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

How herpesviruses win the footrace against the immune system

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

Water forms 'spine of hydration' around DNA, group finds

26.05.2017 | Life Sciences

First Juno science results supported by University of Leicester's Jupiter 'forecast'

26.05.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>