Microwave Photonic Oscillators Integrated on an Optical Chip

Project: Research

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”Timing is everything” is a saying usually reserved for delivering punch-lines. In the field of communication technology, the sentence is literally true and ultra-precise timing is key in advancing the present network society. The timekeepers of technology, oscillators, provide the clock frequency for computing systems, enable carriers for information in wireless communication and provide timing in GPS and radar systems. Oscillators can be realised in a number of different ways, electronic based, crystal based or, more recently, photonic based.
The optoelectronic oscillator, realised for the first time 20 years ago, offers performance in the GHz-regime way beyond what can be realised by other oscillator types. An optoelectronic oscillator utilises a mix of electronic and photonic components as the name suggests to combine the existing electron-powered technological platform with the superior bandwidth and low-loss capabilities of photons in waveguides/fibers. So far, these systems have been reserved mainly for research purposes due to considerable size and cost as well as lack of robustness. Recent advance in photonic integrated circuits means that the realisation of an optoelectronic oscillator on a chip is within reach.
The goal of this project is to create an optoelectronic oscillator on a chip with a frequency in the GHz regime and phase noise performance better than the crystal based alternative. An oscillator at this frequency would allow for advances in e.g. Doppler radar technology and future high-speed wireless communication.
Effective start/end date01/11/201601/04/2020

Research outputs

ID: 129061051