+44 (0)24 7671 8970
More publications     •     Advertise with us     •     Contact us
 
Loading...
News Article

Novel method for making chipscale mode-locked lasers

News

In a paper in the journal Science, researchers have described a new method for making a mode-locked laser on a photonic chip. The lasers are made using nanoscale components, allowing them to be integrated into light-based circuits similar to the electricity-based integrated circuits found in modern electronics. The method was developed by the lab of Alireza Marandi, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and applied physics at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Mode-locked lasers are lasers that can emit extremely short pulses – on the order of one picosecond or shorter. Using lasers operating on such small timescales, researchers can study physical and chemical phenomena that occur extremely quickly – for example, the making or breaking of molecular bonds in a chemical reaction or the movement of electrons within materials. These ultrashort pulses are also extensively used for imaging applications because they can have extremely large peak intensities but low average power, so they avoid heating or even burning up samples such as biological tissues.

"We're not just interested in making mode-locked lasers more compact," says Marandi. "We are excited about making a well-performing mode-locked laser on a nanophotonic chip and combining it with other components. That's when we can build a complete ultrafast photonic system in an integrated circuit. This will bring the wealth of ultrafast science and technology, currently belonging to metre-scale experiments, to millimetre-scale chips."

Ultrafast lasers of this sort are so important to research, that this year's Nobel Prize in Physics was awarded to a trio of scientists for the development of lasers that produce attosecond pulses. Such lasers, however, are currently extremely expensive and bulky, says Marandi, adding that his research is exploring methods to achieve such timescales on chips that can be orders of magnitude cheaper and smaller, with the aim of developing affordable and deployable ultrafast photonic technologies.

"These attosecond experiments are done almost exclusively with ultrafast mode-locked lasers," he says. "And some of them can cost as much as $10 million, with a good chunk of that cost being the mode-locked laser. We are really excited to think about how we can replicate those experiments and functionalities in nanophotonics."

At the heart of the nanophotonic mode-locked laser developed by Marandi's lab is lithium niobate, a synthetic salt with unique optical and electrical properties that, in this case, allows the laser pulses to be controlled and shaped through the application of an external radio-frequency electrical signal. This approach is known as active mode-locking with intracavity phase modulation.

"About 50 years ago, researchers used intracavity phase modulation in tabletop experiments to make mode-locked lasers and decided that it was not a great fit compared to other techniques," says Qiushi Guo, the first author of the paper and a former postdoctoral scholar in Marandi's lab. "But we found it to be a great fit for our integrated platform. Beyond its compact size, our laser also exhibits a range of intriguing properties. For example, we can precisely tune the repetition frequency of the output pulses in a wide range. We can leverage this to develop chipscale stabilised frequency comb sources, which are vital for frequency metrology and precision sensing."

UniversityWafer announces new supply silicon-on-insulator substrates
Paratus deploys Infinera GX Series in superhighway network
The first universal, programmable, multifunctional photonic chip
Intel Ignite launches its European cohort of Spring 2024
A large-scale photonic chiplet to power artificial general intelligence
Aeva creates Automotive Center of Excellence in Germany
Luceda Photonics releases new Test Design Kit
PhotonVentures’ second fundraising round brings total to €75 million
New edition of IPSR-I photonics roadmap published
Luceda Photonics and Alter Technology collaborate on PIC assembly
Alcyon Photonics and Applied Nanotools collaborate on photonics PDK
Aire Networks deploys Infinera’s ICE-X pluggable solution
Nexus participates in airborne hazard detection project
CMC Microsystems and ventureLAB support semiconductors in Canada
Startups selected for Luminate NY accelerator announced
POET and MultiLane partner on transceivers
Rapid Photonics receives €300,000 for lithium niobate PIC production
Lumentum announces improvements to 800ZR+ transceivers
Teramount and GlobalFoundries cooperate on silicon photonics
StarIC teams up with GlobalFoundries on silicon photonics
Marvell demonstrates 200G 3D silicon photonics engine
Alphawave Semi and InnoLight collaborate on linear pluggable optics
NewPhotonics introduces PIC with integrated optical equaliser
Pilot Photonics secures €2.5 million from European Innovation Council
Ranovus collaborates with MediaTek on 6.4T co-packaged optics
Stellantis Ventures invests in SteerLight silicon photonics LiDAR
Semilux launches programme to develop LiDAR for autonomous vehicles
Coherent recognises Tower Semiconductor with Outstanding Innovation and Technology Supplier Award
photonixFAB Consortium now open for first prototyping
Roadmap to drive PIC industry forward unveiled
European quantum experts team up on photonic quantum computing
OpenLight Partners with VLC Photonics to Expand Design and Test Capacity

×
Search the news archive

To close this popup you can press escape or click the close icon.
Logo
×
  • 1st January 1970
  • 1st January 1970
  • 1st January 1970
  • 1st January 1970
  • 1st January 1970
  • 1st January 1970
  • 1st January 1970
  • 1st January 1970
  • View all news 22645 more articles
Logo
×
Register - Step 1

You may choose to subscribe to the PIC Magazine, the PIC Newsletter, or both. You may also request additional information if required, before submitting your application.


Please subscribe me to:

 

You chose the industry type of "Other"

Please enter the industry that you work in:
Please enter the industry that you work in: