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Proceedings Paper

Planar waveguide integrated spatial filter array
Author(s): Jun Ai; Fedor Dimov; Richard Lyon; Neven Rakuljic; Chris Griffo; Xiaowei Xia; Engin Arik
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Paper Abstract

An innovative integrated spatial filter array (iSFA) was developed for the nulling interferometer for the detection of earth-like planets and life beyond our solar system. The coherent iSFA comprised a 2D planar lightwave circuit (PLC) array coupled with a pair of 2D lenslet arrays in a hexagonal grid to achieve the optimum fill factor and throughput. The silica-on-silicon waveguide mode field diameter and numerical aperture (NA) were designed to match with the Airy disc and NA of the microlens for optimum coupling. The lenslet array was coated with a chromium pinhole array at the focal plane to pass the single-mode waveguide but attenuate the higher modes. We assembled a 32 by 30 array by stacking 32 chips that were produced by photolithography from a 6-in. silicon wafer. Each chip has 30 planar waveguides. The PLC array is inherently polarization-maintaining (PM) and requires much less alignment in contrast to a fiber array, where each PM fiber must be placed individually and oriented correctly. The PLC array offers better scalability than the fiber bundle array for large arrays of over 1,000 waveguides.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 September 2013
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 8864, Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VI, 88640V (26 September 2013); doi: 10.1117/12.2023138
Show Author Affiliations
Jun Ai, Luminit LLC (United States)
Fedor Dimov, Luminit LLC (United States)
Richard Lyon, NASA Goddard Space Flight Ctr. (United States)
Neven Rakuljic, Luminit LLC (United States)
Chris Griffo, Luminit LLC (United States)
Xiaowei Xia, Luminit LLC (United States)
Engin Arik, Luminit LLC (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 8864:
Techniques and Instrumentation for Detection of Exoplanets VI
Stuart Shaklan, Editor(s)

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