This Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase I project will develop integrated optical amplifier/splitters through direct writing of sol-gel-derived, erbium-doped coatings. Since optical signals decrease with transmission and manipulation, amplifiers are required. Current designs involve serial arrangements of passive (splitters) and active devices (amplifiers). This serial design is bulky and expensive, due to the number of components and interconnects. Integrated optical devices would greatly simplify optical communication networks. Phase I will incorporate amplification into passive devices, such as splitters, resulting in lossless optical devices. To provide amplification, erbium will be incorporated into ceramic films via wet-chemical processing. Subsequently, laser irradiation will selectively densify channels in porous coatings, thereby locally increasing the refractive index and providing light containment in the channels. Pumping the planar device will amplify signals as they pass.
This technology in integrated amplifier/splitters will be key to making more complex integrated optical circuits in telecommunication.
Small Business Information at Submission:
3921 Academy Parkway North, NE Albuquerque, NM 87109
Number of Employees: