Photonic Readout Circuits

Increasingly sophisticated circuits are required for detecting and processing photonic signals in sensing and communication applications.
Reflective transceivers are studied as a route to meeting users’ demands for ever-increasing bandwidth at the access network at a low cost. We investigate solutions to these challenges with a network concept using a dynamically reconfigurable optical network topology with a wavelength router and a colorless optical network unit (ONU). To enable this architecture, we developed a monolithic integrated transceiver in InP, the optical part of the ONU. Reflective transceivers consist of various combinations of tunable wavelength duplexer, reflective modulator and photodetector.  Up to 40Gb/s operation has been achieved with the most received reflective SOA concepts.

A photonic serialising readout has been developed in collaboration with the Dutch high-energy physics institute Nikhef for use in the KM3NeT neutrino detector. Prototypes have been made in the experimental MPW runs in the Oclaro foundry process. Little is known about the radiation hardness of InP-based devices and so we perform proton-irradiation experiments with varying dose at CERN, to study radiation hardness of modulator samples provided by Oclaro.
Brillouin scattering can be used for determining strain distributions along fibers. This is a convenient way to monitor the structural integrity of large constructions. However the high cost of the optical circuitry has prevented wide use of the technique. We study designs for fully integrated optical circuit for a Brillouin optical time domain reflection readout unit with low-cost potential. The circuit contains narrow linewidth tuneable distributed Bragg reflector (DBR) lasers, photodiodes and an optical mixer for coherent detection, a 10-bit digitally switched delay line for frequency tuning, and a switching fabric for three modes of operation.

Selected publications:
Stopinski, S.T., Malinowski, M., Piramidowicz, R., Smit, M.K. & Leijtens, X.J.M. (2013). Data readout system utilizing photonic integrated circuit.Nuclear Instruments and Methods in Physics Research. Section A: Accelerators, Spectrometers, Detectors and Associated Equipment, 725, 183-186.
Lawniczuk, K., Patard, O., Guillamet, R., Chimot, N., Garreau, A., Kazmierski, C., Aubin, G. & Merghem, K. (2013). 40 Gb/s colorless reflective amplified modulator. IEEE Photonics Technology Letters, 25(4), 341-343.
Jiao, Y., Tilma, B.W., Kotani, J., Nötzel, R., Smit, M.K., He, S. & Bente, E.A.J.M. (2012). InAs/InP(100) quantum dot waveguide photodetectors for swept-source optical coherence tomography around 1.7 μm. Optics Express, 20(4), 3675-3692.
Klein Breteler, R.F., Tol, J.J.G.M. van der, Felicetti, M., Sasbrink, G.D.J. & Smit, M.K. (2011). Photonic integrated brillouin optical time domain reflection readout unit. Optical Engineering, 50(7):07111
L. Xu, M. Nikoufard, X. Leijtens, T. de Vries, E. Smalbrugge, R. Nötzel, Y. Oei and M. Smit, “High performance InP based photodetector in an amplifier layer stack on semi-insulating substrate,” IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett., Vol.20, issue 23, pp1941-1943, 2008