EAGER: Explore super broadband ultrafast optical switches by harnessing field induced dynamic waveguiding effect in nanodisordered KTN crystals

    Project: Research project

    Project Details


    The objective of this project is to conduct a feasibility study on a new type of optical switch. If the proposed

    technique is successful this EAGER project will impact a key component in optical communication, and data centers

    in particular. By harnessing a radically different switching mechanism, the electric field induced dynamic waveguiding

    effect in nanodisordered potassium tantalate niobate (KTN) crystals, the PI hopes to obtain optical switching performance

    that cannot be achieved through current technologies.

    Traditional optical switches designed for data center and optical communication, and based on changing the phase in the

    travelling path, produce an interference that switches from constructive to destructive as the phase is varied. Such a

    switch is limited in that it operates at a specific wavelength of light. In the proposed research the on-off switching

    could be efficiently achieved with very low switching power, and for a broad range of wavelengths. The project will check

    the feasibility of such a concept by fabricating and characterizing a 1x2 switch. Since data centers (in particular) require

    a growing number of switches, and are faced with growing power consumption limitations there is a critical need for such

    a technology. With the selection of nanocrystal potassium tantalate niobate (KTN) the proposed work has the potential to

    produce ultra-fast switching with low power consumption, in a broadband transmission, while maintaining low cross talk,

    high extinction ratio and small footprint.

    Effective start/end date8/1/144/30/15


    • National Science Foundation: $87,074.00


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