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Wavelength Tunable Monolithic InP Receivers and Switches for Optical Communication Systems


Demand for information technology continues to grow, and with it the need for continuous improvement in telecommunication infrastructure. Recent interest in coherent modulation schemes, wavelength conversion, and large scale photonic integration for feasible, cost-effective scaling of existing network infrastructure has generated an intriguing area idea in which several technologies are combined at once to create a solution more capable than any individual approach. By leveraging these technologies together, a scalable path capable of providing sustainable growth in the telecommunication field may be realized.

This dissertation explores this concept by the applying principles of monolithic integration to coherent receiver and optical switch technology with the goal of improving the size, cost, and performance of existing communication components as well as drive forward the state of the art in photonic integration. To this end, a monolithic coherent receiver was developed by integrating local oscillator, mixer, and high speed detection functions together on a single chip in an architecture capable of supporting polarization multiplexing and phase shift keying modulation formats. With an integrated local oscillator, the receiver’s capability is scalable, supporting higher capacity modulation formats through the use of more advanced feedback electronics and digital signal processing.

In addition, a monolithic all-optical switch was developed by integrating both wavelength conversion and wavelength filtering functions onto a single chip. The architecture is capable of high speed switching of optical signals without costly optical-electrical conversion by utilizing an array of optical-optical modulators with scalable channel capacity and a static arrayed-waveguide grating router. By integrating these functions on the same chip, costly packaging issues may be avoided, greatly reducing development and production costs.

By moving an increased number of components onto single die while maintaining similar performance to discrete solutions, the coherent receiver and all-optical switch devices presented in this work advance the state of the art by improving the cost and manufacturability of optical communication devices. Even more, these technologies represent a path toward manageable growth of optical communication systems for long haul, datacenter, and short reach solutions by demonstrating scalable architectures for each application. Development of such technology is not only vital but essential for the continued growth of the telecommunications industry. The novel application of photonic integration, coherent modulation, and optical switching technologies are a viable solution to maintaining sustainable growth in the telecommunications field.

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