Solid State Technology and Devices Seminar: Integrated Optical Phased Arrays: LiDAR, Augmented Reality, and Beyond

Seminar | November 1 | 1-2 p.m. | Cory Hall, The Hogan Room, 521

 Jelena Notaros, Ph.D. Student and Researcher, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

 Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences (EECS)

Integrated optical phased arrays, fabricated in advanced silicon-photonics platforms, enable manipulation and dynamic control of free-space light in a compact-form-factor, low-cost, and non-mechanical way. As such, integrated optical phased arrays have emerged as a promising technology for many wide-reaching applications, including light detection and ranging (LiDAR) for autonomous vehicles, 3D holography for visible-light displays, free-space optical communications, and trapped-ion quantum computing.
This talk will present recent advances in integrated optical phased array architectures, results, and applications. First, beam-steering optical phased arrays monolithically integrated with on-chip rare-earth-doped lasers and heterogeneously integrated with CMOS drive electronics will be shown and single-chip coherent integrated LiDAR results will be presented; these demonstrations are important steps towards practical commercialization of low-cost and high-performance integrated LiDAR systems for autonomous vehicles. Next, passive integrated optical phased arrays that focus radiated light to tightly-confined spots in the near field and that generate quasi-Bessel beams will be discussed; these near-field modalities have the potential to advance a number of application areas, such as optical trapping for biological characterization, laser-based 3D printing, increased-depth-of-field microscopy, and adaptive free-space optical communications. Finally, integrated-phased-array-based visible-light holographic projectors will be proposed as a scalable solution towards the next generation of augmented-reality head-mounted displays; passive near-eye projectors that generate holographic images, integrated visible-light liquid-crystal-based modulators, and liquid-crystal-based visible-light integrated phased arrays will be presented.

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