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Lasers & Sources

Marc Sciamanna: Chaos theory for photonics applications

Erratic, unpredictable pulsing of lasers generates chaotic light output that can be turned into applications.

4 August 2014, SPIE Newsroom. DOI: 10.1117/2.3201408.01

The discoveries of deterministic chaos and the related butterfly effect have led to a major paradigm shift, overthrowing two centuries in which the Laplacian viewpoint of dynamical systems was dominant. Soon after the invention of the laser, the possibility of observing chaos in a light signal became a topic of great interest. For 50 years, semiconductor lasers have been considered as damped nonlinear oscillators, and therefore could not be driven into temporal chaos except with the use of an external force, e.g. optical feedback or parameter modulation.

Marc Sciamanna graduated in Electrical Engineering (2000) and received the PhD in Applied Sciences (2004) from the University of Mons (Belgium) and the Fonds National pour la Recherche Scientifique (FNRS, Belgium). He became Assistant Professor (2004), Associate Professor (2007) and Full Professor (2009) at Supélec (France). In 2009 he obtained his Habilitation à Diriger les Recherches (HDR) from the University of Lorraine (France). He is the Head of the Optics and Electronics Department at Supélec, which is an associate research unit within the LMOPS laboratory (Laboratoire Matériaux Optiques, Photonique et Systèmes, EA-4423). He coordinates the Master's Program in Photonic and Communication Systems and the specialization in Optical Materials for the Master of Physics of the University of Lorraine. He is the author of 150 publications, including 65 in peer-reviewed journals. In 2007 he received the TR35 Young Innovator Award from MIT Technology Review for his work on "Controlling chaos in telecom lasers." He is also chairman and committee member of several international conferences including Semiconductor Lasers and Laser Dynamics at SPIE Photonics Europe (2008, 2010, 2012, 2014).