The first day at ECIO

So I am here in lovely, sunny Nice on the Azur coast of France, to attend the European Conference on Integrated Optics (ECIO) and the Optical Waveguide Theory and Numerical Modeling Workshop (OWTNM).

As you can expect the conferences weren’t the only draw: Nice is lovely.It combines the charm of a pretty seaside town with great food and fabulous weather. Yesterday I had lunch at the seaside overlooking the blue, blue waves, while people kayaked, sunbathed, parasailed, speedboater and swam…

Onwards to the conference today, the first day. I always like coming to ECIO/OWTNM as these are slightly smaller and more intimate with 1 maybe 2 sessions in parallel, giving a lot of opportunity to interact. It feels less hectic and yet is still rewarding work wise.

The talk that I found quite enjoyable today was a plenary by G Roelkens (Ghent University/IMEC) on Silicon Photonics beyond the datacomm and telecoms applications. He described some of the work at Ghent and IMEC on using Si photonics for sensing. There was a very large number of experiments described: on sensing of biological species using Si ring resonators, trace gas detection, Laser Doppler Vibrometry to detect changes in object position, blood flow velocity, and many others.

One thing that he mentioned and I want to look up is this: out coupling of light from Si devices such as these can be difficult. Grating couplers made in these Si wave-guides, can suffer from Fresnel reflection (due to large index contrast between Si and the medium to which light is being coupled) and second order Bragg reflection. Apparently some tiled focused grating couplers can reduce the Fresnel reflection significantly. The papers he cited are:
Optics Express, 22278, 2012
Optics Letters, 37 (21), pp 4356, 2012.

If you read these let me know what you think of them!

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