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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/T007303/1
Title: Silicon-rich silicon nitride Nonlinear Integrated Photonic ciRcuits & Systems (juNIPeRS)
Principal Investigator: Petropoulos, Professor P
Other Investigators:
Gardes, Professor F
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr C Lacava
Project Partners:
BT Hewlett Packard Inc Microsoft
The Rockley Group UK
Department: Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC)
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2020 Ends: 30 September 2024 Value (£): 1,123,975
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Characterisation Materials Synthesis & Growth
Optical Communications Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications Information Technologies
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
10 Jul 2019 EPSRC ICT Prioritisation Panel July 2019 Deferred
03 Sep 2019 EPSRC ICT Prioritisation Panel September 2019 Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
Internet communications have effected a massive transformational effect in modern societies over the past few decades, affecting all aspects of modern life, from commerce and healthcare through politics to education and entertainment. Optical communication technologies have played a decisive role and remain central to this revolution. Wavelength division multiplexing allows the transmission of hundreds of terabits per second over a single mode fibre and has enabled wavelength routing, where the optical frequency, rather than the physical fibre path, determines the routing of a signal in a network. The relentless growth in communication traffic necessitates an effective use of network resources, and in response, modern optical networks increase in complexity and require dynamic allocation of their resources.

The ultimate objective of this project is to enable a next generation reconfigurable add-drop de/muliptlexer that will allow re-allocation of the signal wavelength through all-optical wavelength conversion. In order to achieve this, juNIPeRS will study silicon-rich silicon nitride as a CMOS-compatible optical nonlinear material platform and will exploit its unique characteristics to implement integrated devices with unprecedented nonlinear performance.

juNIPeRS will follow a vertical research path, that will include material optimisation and fabrication of photonic integrated systems, device design and optimisation, system integration, and demonstration and testing in a communications environment. Specifically, juNIPeRS will:

- Develop low-loss, dispersion engineered nonlinear waveguides that will form the core of wavelength converting systems.

- Optimise couplers for efficient coupling of light between these integrated components and fibre optic systems.

- Demonstrate integrated wavelength converters and phase-sensitive amplifiers, the operation of which will be independent of the polarisation of the incoming signal.

- Implement multi-layered photonic systems integrating both linear (e.g. switches) and nonlinear components (e.g. wavelength converters).

With the development of the new technological platform, the ambition of juNIPeRS is to facilitate a shift in the design of flexible optical networks, where practical integrated photonic components will be used for the manipulation of the optical frequencies. The new material platform is expected to have important implications in other areas of nonlinear optics outside communications, and the investigators will take active steps to promote it.

juNIPeRS brings together academic groups and key industrial partners who are best placed to critically appraise the commercial relevance of the new technology and guide its development. The project will train a new generation of highly qualified optical engineers and will contribute to the health and sustainability of the UK photonics sector.
Key Findings
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Organisation Website: http://www.soton.ac.uk