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Non-invasive diagnostics of photonic circuits

integrated photonic circuitsnon-invasive diagnosticsoptical signalsoptical time-domain reflectometryoptical waveguides

Introduction

The present invention concerns the technological field of optical devices for the characterization and diagnostics of integrated photonic circuits, devices that exploit their photonic functionalities to generate, guide and manipulate optical signals that can be used for a wide array of applications, ranging from sensing to computing and telecommunications.

Technical features

Integrated photonic circuits offer several advantages with respect to electronic-based devices in terms of efficiency and processing speed. However, there is a strong need for novel techniques allowing to 1) investigate their mode of operation 2) perform diagnostics to assess their correct functioning 3) verify the accuracy of fabrication methods. Characterization techniques available today suffer from drawbacks that limit their applicability to integrated platforms including, e.g., the fact that available techniques are invasive or perturbative, material or substrate-specific, or still characterized by long sequential scanning acquisition times or low spatio-temporal resolutions – which makes them incompatible with diagnostics applications on integrated photonic circuits. The present invention overcomes these limitations introducing a method and an apparatus for the non-invasive characterization of photonic circuits with a wide field of view and a high temporal resolution suitable for the investigation of integrated photonic circuits regardless of their size and material.

Possible Applications

  • High-resolution analysis of photonic circuits;
  • Non-invasive, in-situ diagnostics of integrated photonic circuits;
  • Direct local measurement of the propagation constant of guided optical signals.

Advantages

  • Compatible with different material and substrate platforms;
  • High spatial and temporal resolution to detect the propagation of optical signal at the circuit scale;
  • Compatible with integrated photonic circuits;
  • Wide field of view for non-sequential acquisition mode.