Keep Photonics Under Control: How to Harness Programmable Photonic Circuits

Hosted By: Optoelectronics Technical Group

5 March 2020, 10:00 - 11:00

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The possibility to configure optical hardware post-fabrication is attracting an explosive interest in the research community. Automatic device tuning and trimming, self-locking of the working point, and the possibility to program different functionalities on the same circuit are seen as a necessary evolution of advanced integrated photonics. Although pioneering works date back several years, recent development of photonic technologies allowed to scale up this new classes of circuits, aggregate hundreds of components, and demonstrate applications in optical signal processing, optical communication and space-division multiplexing, optical interconnects, quantum information, and neuromorphic photonics.

In this webinar hosted by the OSA Optoelectronics Technical Group, Dr. Andrea Melloni will explore a fundamental aspect that is required to practically exploit this host of possibilities: the availability of a complex control layer capable of monitoring the working point of the photonic circuit and accordingly use actuators to achieve the desired functionalities. The different components that combine and work together to form a control layer for photonic integrated circuits will be presented: efficient optical sensors and actuators, electronics, and algorithms. Recent development in the field will be reviewed and discussed with cutting-edge example and experimental demonstrations.

What You Will Learn:

  • Fundamentals of integrated photonics circuit programmability
  • Hitless optical monitors
  • Efficient thermo-optic actuators
  • Automatic algorithms for circuit tuning, locking, and programming
  • Application of programmable circuits and photonic meshes

Who Should Attend:

  • PhD students, research scientists and engineers in the field of integrated photonics
  • Photonic integrated circuit designers
  • Optical system engineers
  • Managers working or interested in programmable photonic circuits

About the Presenter: Andrea Melloni, Politecnico di Milano

Andrea Melloni, OSA Fellow, is Full Professor at Dipartimento di Elettronica, Informazione e Bioingegneria at Politecnico di Milano where he leads the group of Photonic Devices. With a background in microwaves, his field of research is in the analysis, design, characterization and exploitation of passive integrated optical devices for telecom and sensing.  He is one of the pioneers of the slow light concept and its exploitation in the linear and nonlinear domains. In September 2008 he founded the company Filarete with the aim of developing and commercializing ASPIC (, the first circuit simulator for integrated optical circuits. He is active in characterization and testing techniques (from wafer to module testing), numerical methods in photonics (stochastic), development of high index contrast dielectric materials (SiliconOxyCarbide), design and analisys of photonic integrated circuits, biosensing (with exploitation of magnetic beads). Recently, he mainly focused on the control and stabilization of photonic circuits with a new technique of non invasive light monitors based on the natural surface state absorption phenomena occurring in waveguides. These activities are at the basis of the dynamic management and control of large and complex photonic integrated circuits for reconfigurable, programmable, locking and adaptive functionalities.