Optical Frequency Domain Interferometry for the characterization and development of complex and tunable photonic integrated circuits
Luis Alberto Bru Orgiles
This PhD thesis covers the characterization of complex photonic integrated circuits (PIC) by using Optical Frequency Domain Interferometry (OFDI). OFDI has a fairly simple implementation and interrogates the device under test (DUT) providing its time domain response, in which the different optical paths followed by light manifest in contributions with position, amplitude and phase information. Together with a working OFDI setup built in our laboratory and integrated test structures involving devices such as ring resonators, interferometers, etc., we propose and implement techniques to get crucial optical parameters such as waveguide group refractive index, chromatic dispersion, polarization rotation, and propagation loss. Also, to characterize optical couplers. Direct optical phase assessment is made in different experiments permitting, amongst others, the characterization of on-chip heat effects. In the culmination of the thesis, the co-integration of the OFDI interferometers with the DUT is addressed, conceiving it as an integrated characterization structure. The use of integrated waveguides provide high stability and adaptation to the DUT, as well as an inherent dispersion de-embedding mechanism. It is provided analysis and experimental proof of concept with an arrayed waveguide grating as DUT in a silicon nitride platform. A considerable leap forward is then taken by proposing a novel three-way interferometer architecture, reducing the measurement complexity. Wide experimental validation is carried out using different laboratory equipment, horizontal and vertical chip coupling, and different DUTs in silicon nitride and silicon-on-insulator.