Nature Review paper on programmable photonic circuits

(04-12-2020) Programmable photonic circuits are a new type chips that can be configured to perform different operations on light signals.

Today, classical photonic integrated circuits are already widely used for fiber optic communications and sensors. However, these chips are usually designed to perform only a single function. The new programmable photonic circuits are more generic and can be reconfigured to implement diverse functions. They make use of hundreds or thousands of submicrometer optical waveguides through which the flow of light can be electrically controlled. This makes it possible to define optical connections on-the-fly, or perform filtering of light based on the waveguides. In this review paper, co-authored by several pioneers in this new field, the current status of this emerging research field is discussed, from the basic technological building blocks to the many possible application domains.

Prof. Wim Bogaerts of Ghent University and IMEC is developing such programmable chip technology in the context of the consolidator grant PhotonicSWARM from the European Research Council, and the European project MORPHIC.

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Their findings have been published in Nature Programmable photonic circuits

Wim Bogaerts, Daniel Pérez, José Capmany, David A. B. Miller, Joyce Poon, Dirk Englund, Francesco Morichetti & Andrea Melloni.