Integrated Pulse Shaping Devices

Pulse shaping devices are the key elements for optical signal processing that are capable of reshaping the temporal waveform of optical pulses.  The applications of pulse shaping devices include ultrahigh-speed optical telecommunication, ultrafast all-optical computing and information processing, biomedical imaging, and electronic and photonic signal/device characterization and monitoring. For these applications, ultrafast optical waveform shapers capable of synthesizing temporal waveform features down to the sub-picosecond regime are required. These are the optical analogues of electronic function generators, which provide arbitrary user-specified waveforms, but on much longer time scales than those needed for optical purposes.

Optical temporal waveform shaping techniques have been extensively developed in free space (with the use of discrete optical components), as well as in fibres (by means of fibre Bragg and long-period gratings).  Integrating the existing pulse shaping techniques on an optical chip is important for developing integrated optical circuits capable of performing a full spectrum of tasks for all-optical signal processing.  The proposed research will deal with developing the pulse shaping devices in two material platforms, namely the femtosecond-laser-written glass waveguides and aluminum gallium arsenide (AlGaAs) semiconductor. The first material platform has the benefit of being fibre-compatible, while AlGaAs is a very promising material for integrated optics as it can be made active and used for monolithic integration of the laser sources and detectors on the same chip with other integrated optical devices. Thus, developing integrated pulse shapers for both material platforms is important.

Ksenia Dolgaleva
Faculty Supervisor: 
Dr. Stewart Aitchison