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Application of the concept of Parity-Time symmetry to integrated optics

Abstract : The development of photonics during the pastdecades, enabled by the advent of nanofabricationtechnologies, witnessed the appearance of new types ofartificial materials such as photonic crystals,metamaterials, plasmonic circuits, and more recently the socalled “PT symmetry” structures. The characteristic featureof this new type of artificial structures is that though theyare described by non-Hermitian Hamiltonians theireigenvalues can still be real. In optics, several physicalphenomena are known to obey equations that are formallyequivalent to that of Hamiltonians in quantum mechanics.During this work, we investigated the design, fabricationand characterization of complex-coupled DFB lasers, withthe intent to apply Parity-Time (PT) symmetry to apractical device. The mode selectivity inside the cavity isbrought by the combination of a gain-coupled and indexcoupledBragg grating, under the form of respectively acorrugated waveguide and a metallic absorbing surfacegrating.Through the simulation of the mode evolution insideconventional DFB lasers and complexe-coupled DFBlasers using Ables matrix method, the advantages ofefficient mode filtering while keeping a low thresholdcurrent was observed. The specific phase shift of a quarterperiod, matching the PT-symmetric configuration, is foundto show highly asymmetric mode selection, with unidirectionalamplification in reflection.Index, gain and complex-coupled DFB lasers with differentphase shifts between loss and index grating profiles werefabricated, using photonics integrated circuits fabricationbuilding blocks: electron beam lithography and inducedcoupled plasma dry etching to name but a few.The characterization of the fabricated lasers shows areduction in threshold compared to equivalent third ordergain-coupled DFB lasers, and improved monomodeoperation and yield compared to third order index-coupledDFB lasers.Real and imaginary parts of the index modulation as wellas reflection spectral response was investigated by externaloptical probing of the laser cavities.The resistance of the CC DFB lasers to external opticalfeedback was studied. If results show an apparentcorrelation between the gratings phase shift and thefeedback resistance, but no significant improvement wasfound with regards to IC DFB lasers.This first milestone on the application of PT-symmetry tothe design and fabrication of DFB lasers provide interestingprospects on the improvement of existing technologies.This work reinforces the interest of this concept for thedesign of feedback tolerant DFB lasers, and theirintegration in an all PT-symmetric laser-modulator system.
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Submitted on : Thursday, April 4, 2019 - 7:12:28 PM
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Vincent Brac de la Perrière. Application of the concept of Parity-Time symmetry to integrated optics. Optics / Photonic. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLS010⟩. ⟨tel-02090550⟩



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