Doctoral Thesis: Integrated Optical Phased Arrays: Augmented Reality, LiDAR, and Beyond


Event Speaker: 

Jelena Notaros

Event Location: 

via Zoom, see details below

Event Date/Time: 

Wednesday, May 13, 2020 - 3:00pm


By enabling optical microsystems with new functionalities, improved system performance, and reduced size, weight, and power, integrated photonics is positioned to enable next-generation optical technologies that facilitate revolutionary advances for numerous fields spanning science and engineering, including computing, sensing, communications, displays, quantum, and biology.

An emerging class of integrated photonic systems is integrated optical phased arrays, which enable manipulation and dynamic control of free-space light in a compact form factor, at low costs, and in a non-mechanical way. As such, integrated optical phased arrays have emerged as a promising technology for many wide-reaching applications, including light detection and ranging (LiDAR) for autonomous vehicles, 3D holography for augmented-reality displays, free-space optical communications, and trapped-ion quantum computing.

This talk will present recent advances in integrated optical phased array architectures, results, and applications. First, the first beam-steering optical phased arrays monolithically integrated with on-chip rare-earth-doped lasers and heterogeneously integrated with CMOS driving electronics will be shown and the first single-chip coherent integrated LiDAR results will be presented; these demonstrations are important steps towards practical commercialization of low-cost and high-performance integrated LiDAR sensors for autonomous vehicles. Next, the first integrated optical phased arrays that focus radiated light to tightly-confined spots in the near field and that generate quasi-Bessel beams will be discussed; these near-field modalities have the potential to advance a number of application areas, such as optical trapping for biological characterization, trapped-ion quantum computing, and laser-based 3D printing. Finally, a novel transparent integrated-phased-array-based holographic display will be proposed as a highly-discreet and fully-holographic solution for the next generation of augmented-reality head-mounted displays; novel passive near-eye displays that generate holograms, the first integrated visible-light liquid-crystal-based modulators, and the first actively-tunable visible-light integrated optical phased arrays will be presented.
Thesis Committee:
Professor Michael Watts (Thesis Advisor)
Professor Erich Ippen
Professor Dirk Englund
Zoom Information: Please contact the candidate for the zoom link and password (notaros at mit dot edu)