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On-Chip Optical Filter Processes Wide Range of Light Wavelengths

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The new optical filter on a chip can process optical signals from across an extremely wide spectrum of light.

Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have developed a new type of optical filter on a chip.

Credit: E. Salih Magden

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have developed an optical filter on a chip that can process optical signals from across an extremely wide spectrum of light at once, which could offer greater precision and flexibility for designing optical communication and sensor systems, studying photons and other particles through ultrafast techniques, and other applications.

The filter matches the broadband coverage and precision of conventional filters, but can be manufactured using traditional silicon-chip fabrication methods.

The new chip uses waveguides to precisely guide the light input to the corresponding signal outputs. One section of the filter contains an array of three waveguides, while the other section contains one waveguide that is slightly wider than any of the other three.

The work could lead to more effective "optical combs," which measure light emitted or reflected by objects for various applications, including powering "optical clocks" for GPS satellites.

From MIT News
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