Autonomous on-chip interferometry for reconfigurable optical waveform generation

in: Optica (2021)
Fischer, Bennet; Chemnitz, Mario; MacLellan, Benjamin; Roztocki, Piotr; Helsten, Robin; Wetzel, Benjamin; Little, Brent E.; Chu, Sai T.; Moss, David J.; Azana, José; Morandotti, Roberto
The generation of user-defined optical temporal waveforms with picosecond resolution is an essential task for many applications, ranging from telecommunications to laser engineering. Realizing this functionality in an on-chip reconfigurable platform remains a significant challenge. Towards this goal, autonomous optimization methods are fundamental to counter fabrication imperfections and environmental variations, as well as to enable a wider range of accessible waveform shapes and durations. In this work, we introduce and demonstrate a self-adjusting on-chip optical pulse-shaper based on the concept of temporal coherence synthesis. The scheme enables on-the-fly reconfigurability of output optical waveforms by using an all-optical sampling technique in combination with an evolutionary optimization algorithm. We further show that particle-swarm optimization can outperform more commonly used algorithms in terms of convergence time. Hence, our system combines all key ingredients for realizing fully on-chip smart optical waveform generators for next-generation applications in telecommunications, laser engineering, and nonlinear optics.

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