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Astrophotonics: the application of photonic technology to astronomy
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Paper Abstract

Integrated optics has the potential to play a transformative role in astronomical instrumentation. It has already made a significant impact in the field of optical interferometry, through the use of planar waveguide arrays for beam combination and phase-shifting. Additionally, the potential benefits of micro-spectrographs based on array waveguide gratings have also been demonstrated.

Here we examine a new application of integrated optics, using ring resonators as notch filters to remove the signal from atmospheric OH emission lines from astronomical spectra. We also briefly discuss their use as frequency combs for wavelength calibration and as drop filters for Doppler planet searches. We discuss the theoretical requirements for ring resonators for OH suppression. We find that small radius (< 10 μm), high index contrast (Si or Si3N4) rings are necessary to provide an adequate free spectral range. The suppression depth, resolving power, and throughput for efficient OH suppression can be realised with critically coupled rings with high self-coupling coefficients.

We report on preliminary laboratory tests of our Si and Si3N4 rings and give details of their fabrication. We demonstrate high self-coupling coefficients (> 0:9) and good control over the free spectral range and wavelength separation of multi-ring devices. Current devices have Q ≈ 4000 and ≈ 10 dB suppression, which should be improved through further optimisation of the coupling coefficients. The overall prospects for the use of ring resonators in astronomical instruments is promising, provided efficient fibre-chip coupling can be achieved.

Paper Details

Date Published: 17 May 2017
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 10242, Integrated Optics: Physics and Simulations III, 102420O (17 May 2017); doi: 10.1117/12.2265958
Show Author Affiliations
S. C. Ellis, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
S. Kuhlmann, Argonne National Lab. (United States)
K. Kuehn, Australian Astronomical Observatory (Australia)
H. Spinka, Argonne National Lab. (United States)
D. Underwood, Argonne National Lab. (United States)
R. R. Gupta, Argonne National Lab. (United States)
L. Ocola, Argonne National Lab. (United States)
P. Liu, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
G. Wei, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
N. P. Stern, Northwestern Univ. (United States)
J. Bland-Hawthorn, The Univ. of Sydney (Australia)
P. Tuthill, Northwestern Univ. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 10242:
Integrated Optics: Physics and Simulations III
Pavel Cheben; Jiří Čtyroký; Iñigo Molina-Fernández, Editor(s)

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