Abstract

Optical beam steering can find applications in several domains such as laser scanning, LiDAR (Light Detection And Ranging), wireless data transfer and optical switches and interconnects. As present beam steering approaches use mechanical motion such as moving mirrors or MEMS (MicroElectroMechanical Systems) or molecular movement using liquid crystals, they are usually limited in speed and/or performance. Therefore we have studied the possibilities of the integrated silicon photonics platform in beam steering applications. In this paper, we have investigated a 16 element one-dimensional optical phased array on silicon-on-insulator with a field-of-view of 23°. Using thermo-optic phase tuners, we have shown beam steering over the complete field-of-view. By programming the phase tuners as a lens, we have also shown the focusing capabilities of this one-dimensional optical phased array. The field-of-view can easily be increased by decreasing the width of the waveguides. This clearly shows the potential of silicon photonics in beam steering and scanning applications.

© 2011 IEEE

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