Abstract

We present a silicon-on-insulator spectrometer for wavelength peak detection operating in a 20-nm wavelength band around 1550 nm with an average accuracy of 12 pm. The silicon photonic integrated circuit occupies a footprint of 250 $\times$ 700 $\mu$ m $^2$ and is composed of a passive-arrayed waveguide grating (AWG) and an array of thermo-optic Mach–Zehnder interferometer switches. The AWG multiplexes multiple inputs and outputs with a vernier design that shifts the spectral response of the different inputs. In this demonstration, we use five output channels and four input channels, with a 4.0-nm channel spacing and 5.0-nm channel spacing, respectively. The responses to the different inputs are disentangled at the outputs by time-multiplexing the inputs with the switches. We demonstrate a more than tenfold improvement in peak detection accuracy using the Vernier effect, from nm range using a single input to picometers range using the four inputs.

© 2014 IEEE

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