FFATA: Chalcogenide Waveguides for Broadband Four Wave Mixing
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The objective of this program is to demonstrate broadband wavelength conversion across the near- and mid-infrared wavelength regions in chalcogenide waveguides. Chalcogenide glasses are important waveguide core materials because of their broad transparency range, high refractive index and high optical nonlinearity relative to silica. Their high nonlinearity can enable efficient four wave mixing (FWM) for a variety of nonlinear signal processing applications including wavelength conversion and parametric amplification. The intellectual merit is in the first demonstration of broadband, chip-scale FWM for near- to mid-infrared wavelength conversion and parametric amplifiers. The broader impacts are new source and amplifier options spanning the near- to mid-infrared and providing hands-on fabrication experience and broadening the educational scope of undergraduate and graduate electrical engineering students, including underrepresented groups. . Applications include high resolution molecular spectroscopy, greenhouse gas monitoring, combustion gas detection (e.g. methane and sulfur dioxide), industrial gas sensing, and liquid and solid phase infrared analysis based on attenuated total reflectance (ATR), typically used with Fourier transform infrared spectrometers (FTIRs), on a chip. Society will benefit through advancements in optical chip-scale processing as well as optical sensing for environmental monitoring, medical diagnostics and homeland security.