December 01, 2018

Scaling photonic lanterns for space-division multiplexing

  • Alvarado-Zacarias J.
  • Amezcua Correa R.
  • Antonio Lopez J.
  • Antonio-López J.
  • Chen H.
  • Fontaine N.
  • Hernández-Cordero J.
  • Leon-Saval S.
  • Okonkwo C.
  • Ryf R.
  • Sillard P.
  • Velazquez Benitez A.

We present a new technique allowing the fabrication of large modal count photonic lanterns for space division multiplexing applications. We demonstrate mode-selective photonic lanterns supporting 10 and 15 spatial channels by using graded index fibres and microstructured templates. These templates are a versatile approach to position the graded index fibres in the required geometry for efficient mode sampling and conversion. Thus, providing an effective scalable method for large number of spatial modes in a repeatable manner. Further, we demonstrate the efficiency and functionality of our photonic lanterns for optical communications. Our results show low insertion and mode dependent losses, as well as enhanced mode selectivity when spliced to few mode transmission fibres. These photonic lantern mode multiplexers are an enabling technology for future ultra-high capacity optical transmission systems.

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