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Novel Integrated Waveguide Optical Isolator Based on Nonreciprocal Mode Conversion

Award Information
Agency: Department of Defense
Branch: Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency
Contract: W31P4Q-08-C-0259
Agency Tracking Number: 07SB2-0388
Amount: $98,998.00
Phase: Phase I
Program: SBIR
Solicitation Topic Code: SB072-024
Solicitation Number: 2007.2
Solicitation Year: 2007
Award Year: 2008
Award Start Date (Proposal Award Date): 2008-02-26
Award End Date (Contract End Date): 2008-10-20
Small Business Information
16115 SW 117th Ave. A-15
Miami, FL 33177
United States
DUNS: 110012903
HUBZone Owned: No
Woman Owned: Yes
Socially and Economically Disadvantaged: No
Principal Investigator
 David Li
 Research Scientist
 (305) 321-5288
Business Contact
 Grace Wang
Title: President
Phone: (305) 321-5288
Research Institution

Optical feedback into semiconductor lasers can have detrimental effects to laser stability. Optical isolators with high forward transmission and very low return are used to ensure laser stability. Conventional optical isolators including fiber coupled ones consist of a Faraday rotator, a permanent magnet, and other optical components. They work exclusively based on the non-reciprocal Faraday polarization rotation principle. These isolators and their modified waveguide version cannot satisfy monolithic integration requirement with laser array chips owing to the incompatibility of the fabrication processes and packaging (need magnet). New Span Opto-Technology proposes to develop a novel waveguide optical isolator based on nonreciprocal mode conversion rather than using magneto-optical materials. The new waveguide isolator can be fabricated on any waveguide substrate including glass, polymer, and semiconductor materials. The concept of the isolator is supported by the mode conversion theory and has been verified by the beam propagation simulation and our preliminary experiments. The Phase I research will design and develop a prototype waveguide optical isolator. The successful demonstration of the waveguide optical isolator without using Faraday effect will have significant impact to optical science and engineering, and to variety of military and commercial applications using photonic lightwave circuits for computing and communications.

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