Since the conception of fiber-optic communication, much research has been focused on creating a more efficient and less costly means of transporting information using light signals.
Photonic integrated circuits (PIC), which are analogous to electronic integrated circuits used in everyday electronics, combine numerous optical principles to facilitate the transfer of light
information. A specific setback in optical information transfer is the joining of optical fibers to the PICs. Light is directed in the PIC through small channels known as waveguides which are
considerably smaller than the optical fibers. Many methods have been suggested for joining fibers and PICs. Loss of light caused by reflection, scattering, and other phenomena must be minimized at
the junction. Numerous suggested methods make it difficult and expensive to package the final combination of fiber and chip. One such method uses a grating that can direct light into the waveguide
from a fiber aligned perpendicular to the PIC without the need for additional optical devices or cumbersome fastening methods. By altering the grating dimensions with the help of an evolutionary
algorithm, coupling efficiency could potentially be very high. This simple coupling method would greatly cut packaging costs making the design very appealing for mass market
Cornell Center for Materials Research
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Support for the CCMR is provided through the NSF Grant DMR 0520404, part of the NSF MRSEC Program. Additional support is provided by Cornell University, the State of New York, and
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