Astrophotonics: a promising arena for silicon photonics

S. C. Ellis*, S. G. Leon-Saval, J. Bland-Hawthorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference proceeding contributionpeer-review

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Astrophotonics is the application of photonics to astronomical instrumentation. This relatively young and rapidly developing field can play a transformative role in astronomy, offering new functionality, increased efficiency and stability, and allowing traditional large bulk optics instruments to be replaced with miniature scalable modular instruments. Astrophotonics has reached a stage of maturity in which many prototypes and concepts are now being employed in facility instruments, and the field is transitioning from purely research and design to become part of mainstream astronomical instrumentation. As part of this process integrated optical components are playing an increasingly important role, often supplanting the fibre optics used in early prototypes. In this paper we provide a brief review of astrophotonics, paying particular attention to those areas in which silicon photonics can be beneficial, as well as noting the requirements and challenges for silicon astrophotonics.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationSilicon Photonics XIV
EditorsGraham T. Reed, Andrew P. Knights
Place of PublicationBellingham, Washington
Number of pages16
ISBN (Electronic)9781510624894
ISBN (Print)9781510624887
Publication statusPublished - 14 Mar 2019
EventConference on Silicon Photonics XIV - San Francisco, Canada
Duration: 4 Feb 20196 Feb 2019

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceConference on Silicon Photonics XIV
CitySan Francisco

Bibliographical note

Copyright 2019 Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). One print or electronic copy may be made for personal use only. Systematic reproduction and distribution, duplication of any material in this paper for a fee or for commercial purposes, or modification of the content of the paper are prohibited.


  • Astronomical instrumentation
  • Photonics
  • Astrophotonics
  • SOI
  • Ring-resonators
  • Fibre Bragg gratings
  • Optical interferometry


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