Astrophotonics (AP)
High-Resolution Arrayed-Waveguide-Gratings
High-Resolution Arrayed-Waveguide-Gratings in Astronomy: Design and Fabrication Challenges
A. Stoll, Z. Zhang, R. Haynes, M. M. Roth
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.
Journal Article