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Integrated reconstructive spectrometer with programmable photonic circuits.

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Yao, Chunhui 
Xu, Kangning 
Zhang, Wanlu 


Optical spectroscopic sensors are a powerful tool to reveal light-matter interactions in many fields. Miniaturizing the currently bulky spectrometers has become imperative for the wide range of applications that demand in situ or even in vitro characterization systems, a field that is growing rapidly. In this paper, we propose a novel integrated reconstructive spectrometer with programmable photonic circuits by simply using a few engineered MZI elements. This design effectively creates an exponentially scalable number of uncorrelated sampling channels over an ultra-broad bandwidth without incurring additional hardware costs, enabling ultra-high resolution down to single-digit picometers. Experimentally, we implement an on-chip spectrometer with a 6-stage cascaded MZI structure and demonstrate <10 pm resolution with >200 nm bandwidth using only 729 sampling channels. This achieves a bandwidth-to-resolution ratio of over 20,000, which is, to our best knowledge, about one order of magnitude greater than any reported miniaturized spectrometers to date.


Acknowledgements: This work was supported by UK EPSRC, project QUDOS, under Grant EP/T028475/1. The authors thank CORNERSTONE - University of Southampton for providing free access to their SiN MPW run, funded by the CORNERSTONE 2 project under Grant EP/T019697/1. The authors also thank Mr. Peng Bao for the help in experiments. C.Y. acknowledges the financial support provided by the CSC-Trust Scholarship for his doctoral studies.


5108 Quantum Physics, 51 Physical Sciences, Bioengineering

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Nat Commun

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Springer Science and Business Media LLC
EPSRC (via University College London (UCL)) (EP/T028475/1)
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