Integrated photonics: From macro- to nanophotonics. Status, challenges and opportunities for KTH.
KTH Applied Physics seminars
Thursday 24 October 2013
to 11:00 at
Professor Lars Thylen (Photonics and Microwave Engineering, KTH)
The concept of integrated photonics (or integrated optics at the time) was coined at Bell Labs in the 60s, inspired by the rapid (and persisting to this day) development in integrated electronics. However, in contrast to integrated electronics and also to development in discrete photonics devices for diverse applications, progress was slow, causing statements such as “integrated photonics is the technology of the future and it will remain so”. Also, the functional diversity in integrated electronics (such as logic gates and RAM type memories) could not and probably never will be implemented in photonics, be it integrated or not. Photonics, on the other hand offer superior performance in transmission, modulation, switching and routing of photonics information in single or multiwavelength formats, now penetrating from global reach to photonic interconnect networks on multicore architecture chips. Here integrated photonics will play a key role. By and large development has caught up with original expectations on integrated photonics, largely due to concept, process and materials development and novel and demanding application requirements, necessitating more complex photonics circuits. Especially notable is the vista opening development of nanophotonics, superficially a contradictio in adjecto, since the size of photonics devices is normally determined by the wavelength of order micron in mainstream photonics. Nanophotonics encompasses a number of issues regarding materials , understanding of novel phenomena as well as development of innovative devices.
The talk will elucidate status and challenges for this ubiquitously deployable technology and where KTH stands in the development, based on the speaker´s 30+ years long activity in the field.