Recent Progress in Heterogeneous III-V-on-Silicon Photonic Integration
Di Liang, John E. Bowers
Published Published online: 24 February 2021,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2021.005
Silicon (Si) photonics is a disruptive technology on the fast track to revolutionise integrated photonics. An indispensable branch thereof, heterogeneous Si integration, has also evolved from a science project 15 years ago to a growing business and compelling research field today. We focus on the scope of III-V compound semiconductors heterogeneously integrated on Si substrates. The commercial success of massively produced integrated optical transceivers based on first-generation innovation is discussed. Then, we review a number of technological breakthroughs at the component and platform levels. In addition to the numerous new device performance records, our emphasis is on the rationale behind and the design principles underlying specific examples of materials and device integration. Finally, we offer perspectives on development trends catering to the increasing demand in many existing and emerging applications.
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3D-printed miniature spectrometer for the visible range with a 100 × 100 μm2 footprint
Andrea Toulouse, Johannes Drozella, Simon Thiele, Harald Giessen, Alois Herkommer
Published Published online: 04 February 2021,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2021.002
The miniaturisation of spectroscopic measurement devices opens novel information channels for size critical applications such as endoscopy or consumer electronics. Computational spectrometers in the micrometre size range have been demonstrated, however, these are calibration sensitive and based on complex reconstruction algorithms. Herein we present an angle-insensitive 3D-printed miniature spectrometer with a direct separated spatial-spectral response. The spectrometer was fabricated via two-photon direct laser writing combined with a super-fine inkjet process. It has a volume of less than 100 × 100 × 300 μm3. Its tailored and chirped high-frequency grating enables strongly dispersive behaviour. The miniature spectrometer features a wavelength range of 200 nm in the visible range from 490 nm to 690 nm. It has a spectral resolution of 9.2 ± 1.1 nm at 532 nm and 17.8 ± 1.7 nm at a wavelength of 633 nm. Printing this spectrometer directly onto camera sensors is feasible and can be replicated for use as a macro-pixel of a snapshot hyperspectral camera.
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Holography, and the future of 3D display
Pierre-Alexandre Blanche
Published Published online: 20 December 2021,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2021.028
The pioneers of holography, Gabor, Leith, Upatnieks, and Denisyuk, predicted very early that the ultimate 3D display will be based on this technique. This conviction was rooted on the fact that holography is the only approach that can render all optical cues interpreted by the human visual system. Holographic 3D displays have been a dream chased after for many years, facing challenges on all fronts: computation, transmission, and rendering. With numbers such as 6.6 × 1015 flops required for calculations, 3 × 1015 b/s data rates, and 1.6 × 1012 phase pixels, the task has been daunting. This article is reviewing the recent accomplishments made in the field of holographic 3D display. Specifically, the new developments in machine learning and neural network algorithms demonstrating that computer-generated holograms approach real-time processing. A section also discuss the problem of data transmission that can arguably be solved using clever compression algorithms and optical fiber transmission lines. Finally, we introduce the last obstacle to holographic 3D display, which is is the rendering hardware. However, there is no further mystery. With larger and faster spatial light modulators (SLMs), holographic projection systems are constantly improving. The pixel count on liquid crystal on silicon (LCoS) as well as microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) phase displays is increasing by the millions, and new photonic integrated circuit phased arrays are achieving real progress. It is only a matter of time for these systems to leave the laboratory and enter the consumer world. The future of 3D displays is holographic, and it is happening now.
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Multi-material multi-photon 3D laser micro- and nanoprinting
Liang Yang, Frederik Mayer, Uwe H. F. Bunz, Eva Blasco, Martin Wegener
Published Published online: 21 June 2021,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2021.017
Three-dimensional (3D) laser micro- and nanoprinting based upon multi-photon absorption has made its way from early scientific discovery to industrial manufacturing processes, e.g., for advanced microoptical components. However, so far, most realized 3D architectures are composed of only a single polymeric material. Here, we review 3D printing of multi-materials on the nano- and microscale. We start with material properties that have been realized, using multi-photon photoresists. Printed materials include bulk polymers, conductive polymers, metals, nanoporous polymers, silica glass, chalcogenide glasses, inorganic single crystals, natural polymers, stimuli-responsive materials, and polymer composites. Next, we review manual and automated processes achieving dissimilar material properties in a single 3D structure by sequentially photo-exposing multiple photoresists as 3D analogs of 2D multicolor printing. Instructive examples from biology, optics, mechanics, and electronics are discussed. An emerging approach – without counterpart in 2D graphical printing – prints 3D structures combining dissimilar material properties in one 3D structure by using only a single photoresist. A controlled stimulus applied during the 3D printing process defines and determines material properties on the voxel level. Change of laser power and/or wavelength, or application of quasi-static electric fields allow for the seamless manipulation of desired materials properties.
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Single-end hybrid Rayleigh Brillouin and Raman distributed fibre-optic sensing system
Linjing Huang, Xinyu Fan, Haijun He, Lianshan Yan, Zuyuan He
Accepted  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.016

Backscattered lightwaves from an optical fibre are used to realise distributed fibre optic sensing (DFOS) systems for measuring various parameters. Rayleigh, Brillouin, and Raman backscattering provide different sensitivities to different measurands and have garnered the attention of researchers. A system combining the three principles above can effectively separate the measured strain and temperature completely as well as provide measurements of both dynamic and static parameters. However, the combined system is extremely complicated if the three systems are independent of each other. Hence, we propose a single-end hybrid DFOS system that uses two successive pulses to realise the Brillouin amplification of Rayleigh backscattering lightwaves for combining Rayleigh and Brillouin systems. A 3-bit pulse-coding method is employed to demodulate the Raman scattering of the two pulses to integrate Raman optical time-domain reflectometry into the hybrid system. Using this hybrid scheme, a simultaneous measurement of multiple parameters is realised, and a favourable measurement accuracy is achieved.

Perovskite light-emitting diodes toward commercial full-colour displays: progress and key technical obstacles
Changjiu Sun, Yuanzhi Jiang, Keyu Wei, Mingjian Yuan
Accepted  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.015

Metal-halide perovskite light-emitting diodes (PeLEDs) possess wide colour gamut, high luminescence efficiency, and low-cost synthesis, making them a promising photonic source for next-generation display applications. Since the first room-temperature emission PeLED was demonstrated in 2014, their performance has improved rapidly within a few years, leading to considerable attention from academia and industry. In this review, we discuss the primary technical bottlenecks of PeLEDs for commercial display applications, including large-area PeLED preparation, patterning strategies, and flexible PeLED devices. We review the technical approaches for achieving these targets and highlight the current challenges while providing an outlook for these perovskite materials and PeLED devices to meet the requirements of the next-generation high-colour-purity full-colour display market.

Hybrid integration of 2D materials for on-chip nonlinear photonics
Vincent Pelgrin, Hoon Hahn Yoon, Eric Cassan, Zhipei Sun
Accepted  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.014

Interests surrounding the development of on-chip nonlinear optical devices have been consistently growing in the past decades due to the tremendous applications, such as quantum photonics, all-optical communications, optical computing, on-chip metrology, and sensing. Developing efficient on-chip nonlinear optical devices to meet the requirements of those applications brings the need for new directions to improve the existing photonic approaches. Recent research has directed the field of on-chip nonlinear optics toward the hybrid integration of two-dimensional layered materials (such as graphene, transition metal dichalcogenides, and black phosphorous) with various integrated platforms. The combination of well-known photonic chip design platforms (e.g., silicon, silicon nitride) and different two-dimensional layered materials has opened the road for more versatile and efficient structures and devices, which has the great potential to unlock numerous new possibilities. This review discusses the modeling and characterization of different hybrid photonic integration structures with two-dimensional materials, highlights the current state of the art examples, and presents an outlook for future prospects.

Volumetric helical additive manufacturing
Antoine Boniface, Florian Maître, Jorge Madrid-Wolff, Christophe Moser
Accepted  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.012

3D printing has revolutionized the manufacturing of volumetric components and structures for various fields. Thanks to the advent of photocurable resins, several fully volumetric light-based techniques have been recently developed to push further the current limitations of 3D printing. Although fast, this new generation of printers cannot fabricate objects whose typical size exceeds the centimeter without severely affecting the final resolution. Based on tomographic volumetric additive manufacturing, we propose a method for volumetric helical additive manufacturing (VHAM) multi-cm scale structures without magnifying the projected patterns. It consists of illuminating the photoresist while the latter follows a helical motion. This movement allows to increase the printable object’ s height. Additionally, we off-center the modulator used for projecting the light patterns to double the object’ s lateral size. We demonstrate experimentally the interest of using these two tricks for printing larger objects (up to 3 cm × 3 cm × 5 cm)  with fine details (650 μm)  and short print time (< 10 min).

Ultra-compact lithium niobate photonic chip for high-capacity and energy-efficient wavelength-division-multiplexing transmitters
Hongxuan Liu, Bingcheng Pan, Yishu Huang, Jianghao He, Ming Zhang, et al.
Published Published online: 29 May 2023,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.013
Recently, high-performance thin-film lithium niobate optical modulators have emerged that, together with advanced multiplexing technologies, are highly expected to satisfy the ever-growing demand for high-capacity optical interconnects utilizing multiple channels. Accordingly, in this study, a compact lithium-niobate-on-insulator (LNOI) photonic chip was adopted to establish four-channel wavelength-division-multiplexing (WDM) transmitters, comprising four optical modulators based on ultracompact 2 × 2 Fabry-Perot cavities and a four-channel WDM filter based on multimode waveguide gratings. The fabricated chip with four wavelength channels has a total footprint as compact as 0.3 × 2.8 mm2, and exhibits an excess loss of ~0.8 dB as well as low inter-channel crosstalk of < –22 dB. Using this LNOI photonic chip, high-capacity data transmissions of 320 Gbps (4 × 80 Gbps) on-off-keying signals and 400 Gbps (4 × 100 Gbps) four-level pulse amplitude signals were successfully realized with the ultra-low power consumption of 11.9 fJ/bit.
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Fast and deterministic optical phased array calibration via pointwise optimisation
Jingwen Shan, Hanyi Zhang, Lijing Li, Weijie Deng, Mingjie Sun
Published Published online: 19 April 2023,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.010
Owing to the structural errors in the optical phased array, an initial random phase reduces the quality of the deflection beam. The most commonly applied approach to phase calibration is based on adaptive optics. However, adaptive optimisation approaches have slow convergence and low diffraction efficiency. We proposed a pointwise optimisation approach to achieve fast and accurate beam deflection. This approach conducts phase calibration, combining global traversal and local searches individually for each array element. We built a phase-calibration optical system containing a one-dimensional optical waveguide phase array for further verification and designed the relevant mechanics. The simulation and experimental results demonstrate that the pointwise optimisation approach accelerates the calibration process and improves the diffraction efficiency.
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3D-printed facet-attached microlenses for advanced photonic system assembly
Yilin Xu, Pascal Maier, Mareike Trappen, Philipp-Immanuel Dietrich, Matthias Blaicher, et al.
Published Published online: 17 April 2023,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.003
Wafer-level mass production of photonic integrated circuits (PIC) has become a technological mainstay in the field of optics and photonics, enabling many novel and disrupting a wide range of existing applications. However, scalable photonic packaging and system assembly still represents a major challenge that often hinders commercial adoption of PIC-based solutions. Specifically, chip-to-chip and fiber-to-chip connections often rely on so-called active alignment techniques, where the coupling efficiency is continuously measured and optimized during the assembly process. This unavoidably leads to technically complex assembly processes and high cost, thereby eliminating most of the inherent scalability advantages of PIC-based solutions. In this paper, we demonstrate that 3D-printed facet-attached microlenses (FaML) can overcome this problem by opening an attractive path towards highly scalable photonic system assembly, relying entirely on passive assembly techniques based on industry-standard machine vision and/or simple mechanical stops. FaML can be printed with high precision to the facets of optical components using multi-photon lithography, thereby offering the possibility to shape the emitted beams by freely designed refractive or reflective surfaces. Specifically, the emitted beams can be collimated to a comparatively large diameter that is independent of the device-specific mode fields, thereby relaxing both axial and lateral alignment tolerances. Moreover, the FaML concept allows to insert discrete optical elements such as optical isolators into the free-space beam paths between PIC facets. We show the viability and the versatility of the scheme in a series of selected experiments of high technical relevance, comprising pluggable fiber-chip interfaces, the combination of PIC with discrete micro-optical elements such as polarization beam splitters, as well as coupling with ultra-low back-reflection based on non-planar beam paths that only comprise tilted optical surfaces. Based on our results, we believe that the FaML concept opens an attractive path towards novel PIC-based system architectures that combine the distinct advantages of different photonic integration platforms.
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Contrast-enhanced fluorescence microscope by LED integrated excitation cubes
Yuanhua Liu, Xiang Zhang, Fei Su, Zhiyong Guo, Dayong Jin
Published Published online: 31 March 2023,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.008

Fluorescence microscopy is a powerful tool for scientists to observe the microscopic world, and the fluorescence excitation light source is one of the most critical components. To compensate for the short operation lifetime, integrated light sources, and low excitation efficiency of conventional light sources such as mercury, halogen, and xenon lamps, we designed an LED-integrated excitation cube (LEC) with a decentralized structure and high optical power density. Using a Fresnel lens, the light from the light-emitting diode (LED) was effectively focused within a 15 mm mounting distance to achieve high-efficiency illumination. LEC can be easily designed in the shape of fluorescence filter cubes for installation in commercial fluorescence microscopes. LECs’ optical efficiency is 1–2 orders of magnitude higher than that of mercury lamps; therefore, high-quality fluorescence imaging with spectral coverage from UV to red can be achieved. By replacing conventional fluorescence filter cubes, LEC can be easily installed on any commercial fluorescence microscope. A built-in LEC driver can identify the types of LEDs in different spectral bands to adopt the optimal operating current and frequency of pulses. Moreover, high-contrast images can be achieved in pulse mode by time-gated imaging of long-lifetime luminescence.

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Metasurfaces designed by a bidirectional deep neural network and iterative algorithm for generating quantitative field distributions
Yang Zhu, Xiaofei Zang, Haoxiang Chi, Yiwen Zhou, Yiming Zhu, et al.
Published Published online: 28 March 2023,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.009

Metasurfaces, which are the two-dimensional counterparts of metamaterials, have demonstrated unprecedented capabilities to manipulate the wavefront of electromagnetic waves in a single flat device. Despite various advances in this field, the unique functionalities achieved by metasurfaces have come at the cost of the structural complexity, resulting in a time-consuming parameter sweep for the conventional metasurface design. Although artificial neural networks provide a flexible platform for significantly improving the design process, the current metasurface designs are restricted to generating qualitative field distributions. In this study, we demonstrate that by combining a tandem neural network and an iterative algorithm, the previous restriction of the design of metasurfaces can be overcome with quantitative field distributions. As proof-of-principle examples, metalenses predicted via the designed network architecture that possess multiple focal points with identical/orthogonal polarisation states, as well as accurate intensity ratios (quantitative field distributions), were numerically calculated and experimentally demonstrated. The unique and robust approach for the metasurface design will enable the acceleration of the development of devices with high-accuracy functionalities, which can be applied in imaging, detecting, and sensing.

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Two-photon photopolymerization directly initiated by spiropyran photochromic molecules
Dandan Ge, Jean Aubard, Erell Bodinier, Safi Jradi, Stéphanie Lau-Truong, et al.
Published Published online: 24 March 2023,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.004

Here, we report the ability of spiropyrans to initiate two-photon polymerization (TPP) for the first time in the literature. The comparison and synergies between the spiropyran photochromic molecule of interest, namely 6-nitro-BIPS, and well-known photoinitiators of radical photopolymerization have been studied. The spiropyran (SPy) molecule can initiate TPP in the presence of trifunctional acrylic monomers and create true 3D structures. The comparison with Irgacure 819, a well-known Type-I photoinitiator, shows that SPy has a comparable capability for TPP. In addition, the combination of SPy with methyl diethanolamine increased the reactivity of both one- and two-photon polymerizations. In the last section, we discuss which SPy isomer is the active photochromic species capable of generating radicals for initiating two-photon polymerization.

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Fibre tapering using plasmonic microheaters and deformation-induced pull
Qiannan Jia, Weiwei Tang, Wei Yan, Min Qiu
Published Published online: 23 March 2023,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.005

Optical fibres with diameters at micro- or sub-micrometre scale are widely adopted as a convenient tool for studying light–matter interactions. To prepare such devices, two elements are indispensable: a heat source and a pulling force. In this paper, we report a novel fibre-tapering technique in which micro-sized plasmonic heaters and elaborately deformed optical fibres are compactly combined, free of flame and bulky pulling elements. Using this technique, micro-nano fibres with abrupt taper and ultra-short transition regions were successfully fabricated, which would otherwise be a challenge for traditional techniques. The compactness of the proposed system enabled it to be further transferred to a scanning electron microscope for in-situ monitoring of the tapering process. The essential dynamics of “heat and pull” was directly visualised with nanometre precision in real time and theoretically interpreted, thereby establishing an example for future in-situ observations of micro and nanoscale light-matter interactions.

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A robust phase extraction method for overcoming spectrum overlapping in shearography
Xiangwei Liu, Peizheng Yan, Yonghong Wang
Published Published online: 20 March 2023,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.007

The advantage of spatial phase-shifting shearography is its ability to extract the phase from a single speckle pattern; however, it often faces spectrum overlapping, which seriously affects phase quality. In this paper, we propose a shearography phase-extraction method based on windowed Fourier ridges, which can effectively extract phase information even in the presence of severe spectrum overlapping. A simple and efficient method was applied to determine the parameters of the windowed Fourier ridges, and a linear variation window was used to match the phase-extraction requirements for different frequency coordinates. A numerical simulation was quantitatively conducted to compare the phase-extraction results of the proposed method with those of the conventional method for various cases, and a shearography system was built with two types of objects to demonstrate the feasibility of the proposed method.

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Iterative projection meets sparsity regularization: towards practical single-shot quantitative phase imaging with in-line holography
Yunhui Gao, Liangcai Cao
Published Published online: 11 March 2023,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.006

Holography provides access to the optical phase. The emerging compressive phase retrieval approach can achieve in-line holographic imaging beyond the information-theoretic limit or even from a single shot by exploring the signal priors. However, iterative projection methods based on physical knowledge of the wavefield suffer from poor imaging quality, whereas the regularization techniques sacrifice robustness for fidelity. In this work, we present a unified compressive phase retrieval framework for in-line holography that encapsulates the unique advantages of both physical constraints and sparsity priors. In particular, a constrained complex total variation (CCTV) regularizer is introduced that explores the well-known absorption and support constraints together with sparsity in the gradient domain, enabling practical high-quality in-line holographic imaging from a single intensity image. We developed efficient solvers based on the proximal gradient method for the non-smooth regularized inverse problem and the corresponding denoising subproblem. Theoretical analyses further guarantee the convergence of the algorithms with prespecified parameters, obviating the need for manual parameter tuning. As both simulated and optical experiments demonstrate, the proposed CCTV model can characterize complex natural scenes while utilizing physically tractable constraints for quality enhancement. This new compressive phase retrieval approach can be extended, with minor adjustments, to various imaging configurations, sparsifying operators, and physical knowledge. It may cast new light on both theoretical and empirical studies.

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Automated optical inspection of FAST’s reflector surface using drones and computer vision
Jianan Li, Shenwang Jiang, Liqiang Song, Peiran Peng, Feng Mu, et al.
Published Published online: 05 January 2023,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.001

The Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST) is the world ’ s largest single-dish radio telescope. Its large reflecting surface achieves unprecedented sensitivity but is prone to damage, such as dents and holes, caused by naturally-occurring falling objects. Hence, the timely and accurate detection of surface defects is crucial for FAST’s stable operation. Conventional manual inspection involves human inspectors climbing up and examining the large surface visually, a time-consuming and potentially unreliable process. To accelerate the inspection process and increase its accuracy, this work makes the first step towards automating the inspection of FAST by integrating deep-learning techniques with drone technology. First, a drone flies over the surface along a predetermined route. Since surface defects significantly vary in scale and show high inter-class similarity, directly applying existing deep detectors to detect defects on the drone imagery is highly prone to missing and misidentifying defects. As a remedy, we introduce cross-fusion, a dedicated plug-in operation for deep detectors that enables the adaptive fusion of multi-level features in a point-wise selective fashion, depending on local defect patterns. Consequently, strong semantics and fine-grained details are dynamically fused at different positions to support the accurate detection of defects of various scales and types. Our AI-powered drone-based automated inspection is time-efficient, reliable, and has good accessibility, which guarantees the long-term and stable operation of FAST.

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Laser-scribed graphene for sensors: preparation, modification, applications, and future prospects
Xing Liu, Fangyi Zhang, Qiwen Zhang, Zhengfen Wan, Xi Chen
Published Published online: 05 June 2023,  doi: 10.37188/lam.2023.011
Sensors are widely used to acquire biological and environmental information for medical diagnosis, and health and environmental monitoring. Graphene is a promising new sensor material that has been widely used in sensor fabrication in recent years. Compared with many other existing graphene preparation methods, laser-scribed graphene (LSG) is simple, low-cost, environmentally friendly, and has good conductivity and high thermal stability, making it widely used in the sensor field. This paper summarizes existing LSG methods for sensor fabrication. Primary LSG preparation methods and their variants are introduced first, followed by a summary of LSG modification methods designed explicitly for sensor fabrication. Subsequently, the applications of LSG in stress, bio, gas, temperature, and humidity sensors are summarized with a particular focus on multifunctional integrated sensors. Finally, the current challenges and prospects of LSG-based sensors are discussed.
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Letter to the Editor