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Photonics 2017, 4(2), 30; doi:10.3390/photonics4020030

High-Resolution Arrayed-Waveguide-Gratings in Astronomy: Design and Fabrication Challenges

innoFSPEC, Leibniz-Institut für Astrophysik (AIP), 14482 Potsdam, Germany
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Received: 3 March 2017 / Revised: 4 April 2017 / Accepted: 5 April 2017 / Published: 10 April 2017
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Abstract

A comprehensive design of a folded-architecture arrayed-waveguide-grating (AWG)-device, targeted at applications as integrated photonic spectrographs (IPS) in near-infrared astronomy, is presented. The AWG structure is designed for the astronomical H-band (1500 nm–1800 nm) with a theoretical maximum resolving power R = 60,000 at 1630 nm. The geometry of the device is optimized for a compact structure with a footprint of 5.5 cm × 3.93 cm on SiO 2 platform. To evaluate the fabrication challenges of such high-resolution AWGs, effects of random perturbations of the effective refractive index (RI) distribution in the free propagation region (FPR), as well as small variations of the array waveguide optical lengths are numerically investigated. The results of the investigation show a dramatic degradation of the point spread function (PSF) for a random effective RI distribution with variance values above 10 - 4 for both the FPR and the waveguide array. Based on the results, requirements on the fabrication technology for high-resolution AWG-based spectrographs are given in the end. View Full-Text
Keywords: arrayed waveguide grating; integrated photonic spectrograph; near-infrared spectroscopy; astrophotonics; photonic integrated circuits arrayed waveguide grating; integrated photonic spectrograph; near-infrared spectroscopy; astrophotonics; photonic integrated circuits
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Stoll, A.; Zhang, Z.; Haynes, R.; Roth, M. High-Resolution Arrayed-Waveguide-Gratings in Astronomy: Design and Fabrication Challenges. Photonics 2017, 4, 30.

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