Multidimensional coherent communications with microcombs
Current fiber-communication systems rely on wavelength and space-division multiplexing, whereby the effective transmission rate – and receiver complexity– increases linearly with the number of channels.Microcombs constitute a remarkable photonic technology for the generation of a comb of phase-locked and evenly spaced optical frequencies on a chip-scale microphotonic device. They allow for replacing hundreds of lasers for wavelength multiplexing and, in recent years, their performance has proven compatible with the stringent demands of coherent systems. While pioneering, these demonstrations have not made use of the key defining property of combs: their phase coherence. This project aims at exploring a new paradigm in fiber coherent communication systems where the phase coherence of microcombs allows to seamlessly integrate the physical dimensions and avoid increasing receiver complexity with channel count.To this goal we will explore: novel integration technologies for silicon nitride and the development of heterogeneously integrated microcombs; new methods for the characterization of phase coherence and frequency noise in microcombs beyond the limits imposed by the measurement system; applying on a chip scale a technique termed laser cooling to achieve the ultimate limits in phase noise performance. We anticipate our ultra-low-phase-noise chip-scale microcombs to have a broad impact beyond communications, from optical spectroscopy to precision frequency synthesis.
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- Swedish Research Council (VR) (Public, Sweden)