Wim Bogaerts - LIQUORICE

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Introduction

LIQuid-crystal enabled Universal Optical Reconfigurable Integrated Circuit Engineering

Project description

In LIQUORICE we will build an operational proof-of-concept of a general-purpose programmable photonic processor. This processor is intended to provide the photonics community with a flexible rapid prototyping technology, similar in use as an electronic FPGA, to stimulate new innovation and accelerate the adoption of photonic chip technology in diverse applications, beyond the traditional photonics markets of telecom and datacom.

Generic programmable circuits consist of a large mesh of optical waveguides connected together by electrically controlled phase shifters and tunable couplers. The LiqUORICE proof of concept will address a key challenge with these large-scale circuits: the difficulty of addressing thousands of electro-optic actuators. We approach this problem by using a liquid-crystal-on-silicon (LCOS) microdisplay backplane on which we bond our photonic waveguide circuits. The LCOS driver can address the liquid crystal underneath the waveguides in a granular way, controlling the flow of light on the chip. This will also give us a direct software interface (as a display) through which we can configure the chip for optical routing and wavelength filtering.

Objectives

These are the objectives of LIQUORICE:

  • Design a photonic circuit with waveguides that can be addressed using a liquid crystal overcladding
  • Develop an integration technique to make an LCOS cell with the silicon photonics as a top lid.
  • Explore the possibility for top-side contacting of high-speed components on such an LCOS assembly
  • Demonstrate different optical functions with this programmable circuit

Role of Ghent University

Ghent University is the only partner in the project, and will execute all activities

Contact

Prof. Wim Bogaerts
Department of Information Technology – INTEC (EA05)
Photonics Research Group
Phone number: +32 9 264 33 24
E-mail