Multi-plane light conversion (MPLC) has recently been developed as a versatile tool for manipulating spatial distributions of the optical field through repeated phase modulations. An MPLC Device consists of a series of phase masks separated by free-space propagation. It can convert one orthogonal set of beams into another orthogonal set through unitary transformation, which is useful for a number of applications. In telecommunication, for example, mode-division multiplexing (MDM) is a promising technology that will enable continued scaling of capacity by employing spatial modes of a single fiber. MPLC has shown great potential in MDM devices with ultra-wide bandwidth, low insertion loss (IL), low mode-dependent loss (MDL), and low crosstalk. This dissertation presents MPLC devices for (de)multiplexing, coupling, routing, optical signal processing, and wavefront synthesis. First, fundamentals in the design, simulation, and characterization of MPLC devices are introduced. In the area of MPLC devices, a coupler based on MPLC was demonstrated to bridge between few-mode fibers and waveguides. A reconfigurable broadband mode router for multi-port mode-to-space mapping was proposed using the MPLC technique, compatible with existing wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) systems. In the area of MPLC signal processing, an ultrabroadband polarization-insensitive optical 90° hybrid, which is a two-input four-output device, was demonstrated. In the area of system application, we demonstrated the use of a pair of 45-mode MPLC (de)multiplexers and high-sensitivity superconducting nanowire single-photon detectors (SNSPDs) to measure the differential mode group delay (DMDG), distributed mode crosstalk, and cladding modes of a commercial graded-index multimode fiber (GI-MMF). A compact, large-area, non-mode selective MPLC coherent beam combiner using curved mirrors is also presented for high-power wavefront synthesis.
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Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)
College of Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Optics and Photonics
Length of Campus-only Access
Doctoral Dissertation (Campus-only Access)
Zhang, Yuanhang, "Multi-Plane Light Conversion: Devices and Applications" (2022). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 1710.
Restricted to the UCF community until June 2024; it will then be open access.