Spotlight Summary by Vincent Billault
Coherent self-control of free-space optical beams with integrated silicon photonic meshes
Programmable photonic circuits are enabling technologies for the processing of free space optical beams. The arbitrary manipulation of light beams is crucial for free space optical systems, especially in imaging and communications applications. Spatial beam shapers and spatial light modulators are commonly used for this purpose, but they are bulky, have limited functionalities and a low response bandwidth. In contrast, photonic integrated circuits provide both optical and electronic functions with ultra small footprint.
In this paper, Milanizadeh et al. prove that photonic integrated circuits can be implemented to automatically control free space optical beams emitted from an optical antenna array. The research team demonstrate several functionalities of free space optical beam control such as compensation of non-perfect optical antennas, imaging through a diffusive medium and identification of an unknown obstacle in the optical path. This study represents a successful proof of concept for a new alternative in the field of free space optical beam manipulation.
Link to paper: https://www.osapublishing.org/prj/fulltext.cfm?uri=prj-9-11-2196&id=460684
Link to spotlight summary: https://www.osapublishing.org/spotlight/summary.cfm?id=460684
Congratulations to all the authors!