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Real-time, in-situ probing of Gamma radiation damage with packaged integrated photonic chips

Photonics Research
  • Qingyang Du, Jerome Michon, Bingzhao Li, Derek Kita, Danhao Ma, Haijie Zuo, Shaoliang Yu, Tian Gu, Anuradha Agarwal, Mo Li, and Juejun Hu
  • received 10/02/2019; accepted 12/03/2019; posted 12/04/2019; Doc. ID 379019
  • Abstract: Integrated photonics is poised to become a mainstream solution for high-speed data communications and sensing in harsh radiation environments such as outer space, high-energy physics (HEP) facilities, nuclear power plants, and test fusion reactors. Understanding the impact of radiation damage in optical materials and devices is thus a prerequisite to building radiation-hard photonic systems for these applications. In this paper, we report real-time, in-situ analysis of radiation damage in integrated photonic devices. The devices, integrated with an optical fiber array package and a baseline-correction temperature sensor, can be remotely interrogated while exposed to ionizing radiation over a long period without compromising their structural and optical integrity. We also introduce a method to deconvolve the radiation damage responses from different constituent materials in a device. The approach was implemented to quantify Gamma radiation damage and post-radiation relaxation behavior of SiO2-cladded SiC photonic devices. Our findings suggest that densification induced by Compton scattering displacement defects is the primary mechanism for the observed index change in SiC. Additionally, post-radiation relaxation in amorphous SiC does not restore the original pre-irradiated structural state of the material. Our results further point to the potential of realizing radiation-hard photonic device designs taking advantage of the opposite signs of radiation-induced index changes in SiC and SiO2.
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