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A Dual-Stage Photonic Integrated Circuit Spectrometer

Kyle J. Dorsey
Kyle J. Dorsey, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist Physical Sciences, Inc. Andover, MA
Physics Auditorium (2020) and Zoom
Departmental Colloquium

Spectrometers are key laboratory tools for many applications, from molecular identification and quantification to laser diagnostics. Addressing these applications in field-deployable scenarios requires significant size, weight, and power (SWaP) reduction from typical bulk-optic techniques. Photonic integrated circuits (PICs) are an attractive alternative to bulk-optic spectrometers because they are extremely low SWaP, are readily mass- produced, and can be ruggedized for field deployment. However, typical PIC-based spectrometers are unable to simultaneously deliver the resolution and bandwidth required for key applications such as Raman spectroscopy. Within the molecular “fingerprinting” region using a 780-nm pump wavelength, a Raman spectrometer must respond between 810–890 nm with sub-nanometer resolution. To address this application, I will present a photonic integrated circuit spectrometer that cascades an arrayed-waveguide grating with a series of coupled- resonator optical waveguide filters to achieve a spectral resolution of 0.35 nm over a bandwidth from 805–930 nm. Our team’s cascaded dual-stage spectrometer design permits simultaneous wide bandwidth and high resolution performance in a package that represents multiple orders of magnitude reduction in SWaP compared to free-space spectrometers. In this talk, I will discuss the simulation, design, and testing of our integrated circuit spectrometer as well as potential applications of our team’s technology.

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