PhD Defense: "Optically Pumped Ultra-Low Loss Waveguide Lasers and Amplifiers"

Michael Belt

June 6th (Tuesday), 2:00pm
Elings Hall (CNSI), Room 1601

An increasing number of systems and applications depend on photonics for transmission and signal processing. This includes data centers, communications systems, environmental sensing, radar, lidar, and microwave signal generation. Moving forward, monolithic integration of traditionally bulk optical components onto the chip scale will be necessary to significantly reduce power and cost while simultaneously maintaining the requisite performance specifications at high production volumes. A critical aspect is the loss of the integrated waveguide, along with the capability to design a wide range of passive and active optical elements using a low cost, highly manufacturable wafer-scale integration process such as that found in the electronics industry (CMOS). There has been a strong body of work to date on the reduction of waveguide loss and implementation of devices based on passive waveguides. This dissertation advances the state of the art in ultra-low loss waveguide integration by developing and realizing on-chip optical gain elements, and ultimately lasers, based on rare-earth-ion dopants. The analysis, design, fabrication procedure, and resulting experimental demonstration of a series of rare-earth-ion-doped optically pumped lasers that leverage the unique properties of a Si3N4-core/SiO2-clad ultra-low loss waveguide platform is detailed. The low passive loss and highly temperature stable optical gain properties of this platform enable integration of a wide variety of linear and nonlinear optical components on-chip. This opens new integration possibilities within the data communications, microwave photonics, high bandwidth electrical RF systems, sensing, and optical signal processing applications and research communities.

About Michael Belt:

photo of Michael BeltMichael Belt is a Ph.D. candidate in the ECE department at UCSB. He received his B.S. in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2010 from The Ohio State University and his M.S. in 2012 from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He joined the research group of Professor Dan Blumenthal in 2010. His research interests include the design and fabrication of low-linewidth lasers for next general optical communications and sensing systems.

Hosted by: Professor Daniel J. Blumenthal