We introduce a novel, chipscale device capable of single-shot ultrafast recording with picosecond-scale resolution over hundreds of picoseconds of record length. The device consists of two vertically-stacked III-V planar waveguides forming a Mach-Zehnder interferometer, and makes use of a transient, optically-induced phase difference to sample a temporal waveform injected into the waveguides. The pump beam is incident on the chip from above in the form of a diagonally-oriented stripe focused by a cylindrical lens. Due to time-of-flight, this diagonal orientation enables the sampling window to be shifted linearly in time as a function of position across the lateral axis of the waveguides. This time-to-space mapping allows an ordinary camera to record the ultrafast waveform with high fidelity. We investigate the theoretical limits of this technique, present a simulation of device operation, and report a proof-of-concept experiment in GaAs, demonstrating picosecond-scale resolution over 140 ps of record length.
© 2011 OSA
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