Ultrafast all-optical temporal differentiation in integrated phase-shifted Bragg gratings

Rutkowska, K.A. and Duchesne, D. and Strain, M.J. and Azaña, J. and Morandotti, R. and Sorel, M. (2010) Ultrafast all-optical temporal differentiation in integrated phase-shifted Bragg gratings. In: Proceedings of the SPIE. SPIE.

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Abstract

All-optical communications and data processing exemplifies an important alternative to overcome the speed and bandwidth limitations imposed by electronics. Specifically, practical implementation of analog operations, including optical temporal differentiation, is fundamental for future ultrafast signal processing and computing networks. In addition, the development of fully integrated systems that allow on-single-chip operations is of significant interest. In this work we report the design, fabrication tolerances and first experimental demonstration of an integrated, ultrafast differentiator based on π-phase-shifted Bragg gratings. By using deeply-sidewall-etched Silicon-on-Insulator (SOI) ridged waveguides, first-order optical differentiation has been achieved on sub-millimeters length scales, reaching THz processing speeds. The proposed device has numerous potential applications, including all-optical, analog solving of differential equations (important for virtual modeling of scientific phenomena), data processing and analysis, as well as for the generation of Hermite-Gaussian waveforms (used for arbitrary optical coding and decoding).