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Photo: Heinz Nixdorf Institut

Arbitrary Digital Processing of THz-Bandwidth Signals Based on Optic-Electronic-Optic Interferometers

What used to be possible only through all-optical processing a decade ago is now possible through the help of powerful digital electronics. An interesting example of this paradigm shift is an Opto-Electronic (OEO) Interferometer, which extends the functionality of a conventional Mach-Zehnder interferometer to arbitrary linear, nonlinear, and even time-variant interferometric processing of optical waveforms. The goal of this project is to show the first experimental demonstration of an OEO interferometer, based on an integrated-optics framework involving hybrid integration of SiNx based passive- and InP based active- optical subcomponents. Both an analog and a digital coherent processing structure, with real-time digital signal processing in-between, will be demonstrated. Real-time processing instead of off-line DSP is fundamentally needed in order to compensate for random laser phase noise as well as to accomplish phase stability within the interferometer, which is a demanding task given the required interferometer path length differences. The overall objectives to be pursued in the present project (phase 1) may be summarized as follows:Develop the architecture for the OEO interferometer including delay lines of several meters in length. Develop an analog electronic processing path in order to show a proof of concept of OEO interferometric cancellation and addition. Develop real-time FPGA implementable digital electronic processing algorithms for the OEO interferometer. Exploit a suitable platform technology for hybrid integration of the optical (SiNx based) and opto-electronic components (InP based) and assemble an integrated OEO interferometer. Demonstrate and evaluate basic functionalities of an OEO interferometer.

Professor Dr.-Ing. Sebastian Randel
Karlsruher Institute of Technology (KIT)
Institute of Photonics and Quantum Electronics (IPQ)

Professor Dr.-Ing. Martin Schell
TU Berlin
Institute of Solid State Physics