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INRS advances to Optica’s 2022 list

December 22, 2022 | Julie Robert

Update : December 22, 2022

Three research teams stand out in the top 30 most exciting news in optics and photonics.

optics and photonics

Optical fibers. ADOBE STOCK

Alongside work coming from around the world, the research of three teams from the INRS Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre is featured in the December special edition of Optics & Photonics News. Each year, this monthly magazine (formerly OSA) highlights the most exciting research in optics and photonics. Peer-reviewed, these works have been published during the last months.

The selection was made among 77 works of researchers. Only 30 articles, presenting particularly interesting advances for the optical community at large, were retained. For several consecutive years, INRS faculty members have distinguished themselves in this highly competitive selection process.

“I would like to congratulate the teams on this important recognition of their outstanding contributions to the fields of optics and photonics. The Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre’s teams have developed world-class expertise.”

Luc-Alain Giraldeau, Chief Executive Officer of INRS

Terahertz communication at the chip level

Professor Roberto Morandotti‘s work with colleagues at Nankai University, China, focuses on terahertz (THz) communication on a chip with compact topological devices. This device, along with high-speed data transmission, could enable future technologies based on artificial intelligence and cloud computing.

Recently, the international team established THz frequency tuning techniques using a lithium niobate (LN) photonic chip that enabled highly efficient nonlinear THz frequency conversion, exotic phase transport of “frozen-phase” THz waves, and topologically tuned confinement of THz waves during nonlinear generation.

This work opens up new possibilities for versatile, stable, and highly integrated multifunctional THz photonic circuits for applications such as THz computing, imaging, and fingerprint detection.

To view the article Chip-Scale THz Frequency Conversion and Tuning 

A new way to generate visible light

With their research, postdoctoral fellow Riccardo Piccoli and professor Luca Razzari have succeeded in generating visible and coherent light, such as the one a laser, with a very short pulse duration, in the femtosecond range. To generate such visible light, the team used an industrial-grade laser system. They found that by propagating an infrared laser pulse through a hollow argon-filled fiber, a nonlinear effect generated short pulses of visible light with high intensity.

Optics & Photonics News Special Edition

For the first time, complex and expensive optical architectures are not required to generate ultrashort visible light pulses. This technological advance could allow, among other applications, to explore a wide variety of phenomena in physics, chemistry and biology, such as photosynthesis or even human vision.

This work was carried out in collaboration with INRS researchers Young-Gyun Jeong, Andrea Rovere, Luca Zanotto, professors François Légaré and Roberto Morandotti, the INRS start-up few-cycle, as well as a team of international scientists from CNRS (France), Louisiana State University (USA) and Heriot-Watt University (UK).

To view the article Multimode Nonlinear Optics Yields Few-Cycle Visible Light

Seeing through noise with a time lens

Ph.D. student Benjamin Crockett and Professor José Azaña have designed a noise attenuation technique based on a temporal magnifying glass. Just as it is possible to focus the sun’s rays at a specific point in space with a magnifying glass, the energy of a signal can be focused in time. Compared to the denoising techniques used until now, this approach makes it possible to simultaneously amplify the information contained in a wave while increasing its signal-to-noise ratio, and this without needing to know the center frequency of the signal of interest.

The benefits of this research go far beyond the demonstrated telecommunications signals. It could improve sensitivity to detect distant astronomical phenomena, optimize the reliability of quantum computations, or improve the ecological footprint of telecommunications by using lower power signals.

This work was done with INRS students Luis Romero Cortés (now with the Polytechnic University of Valencia in Spain) and Saikrishna Reddy Konatham (now with Infinera Corporation in Ottawa), as well as with the collaboration of Reza Maram of Fonex Technologies, based in Montreal.

To view the article Recovering Signals From Noise by Coherent Energy Redistribution

Congratulations to the researchers and their teams!