Photonic Chip Turns Single Laser Beam Into Multiple Beams

A photonic chip developed by researchers turns a single incoming laser beam into various new beams with various optical characteristics. At various points along the chip, the freshly created beams, which have the same frequency as the original beam, simultaneously leave the circuit. It enables engineers and scientists to choose the precise properties of one or more required beams for a given application. Visible light beams must be precisely shaped and controlled for quantum computing, the world’s most precise clocks, human illness research, and many other quantum-based technologies.

However, doing so often calls for huge optics that take up a lot of room in the laboratory. The current generation of atomic clocks and other gadgets might soon be miniaturized with the newly built photonic circuit on a chip, taking them from the lab and into the workplace. Atomic optical clocks in small, transportable sizes might significantly enhance navigation systems, particularly underwater where GPS is not accessible.

A single light beam with one set of attributes is often converted into another with different properties by most light shaping and guiding techniques used on chips, including those that use metasurfaces.

On the other hand, the photonic chip may produce a huge quantity of shaped beams from a single input beam. A cloud of atoms needs to be trapped and cooled to serve as the foundation for an atomic clock, which requires a number of laser beams to concurrently blast the cloud from various angles.

According to the team’s test results, the chip should be able to direct, shape, and deliver an infinite number of tightly spaced light beams at different visible light hues if finalized.

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