Developing arrayed waveguide grating spectrographs for multi-object astronomical spectroscopy

Nick Cvetojevic*, Nemanja Jovanovic, Jon Lawrence, Michael Withford, Joss Bland-Hawthorn

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Citations (Scopus)
39 Downloads (Pure)


With the aim of utilizing arrayed waveguide gratings for multiobject spectroscopy in the field of astronomy, we outline several ways in which standard telecommunications grade chips should be modified. In particular, by removing the parabolic-horn taper or multimode interference coupler, and injecting with an optical fiber directly, the resolving power was increased threefold from 2400 ± 200 (spectral resolution of 0.63 ± 0.2 nm) to 7000 ± 700 (0.22 ± 0.02 nm) while attaining a throughput of 77 ± 5%. More importantly, the removal of the taper enabled simultaneous off-axis injection from multiple fibers, significantly increasing the number of spectra that can be obtained at once (i.e. the observing efficiency). Here we report that ∼12 fibers can be injected simultaneously within the free spectral range of our device, with a 20% reduction in resolving power for fibers placed at 0.8 mm off-centre.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2062-2072
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Express
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 30 Jan 2012

Bibliographical note

This paper was published in [Optics Express] and is made available as an electronic reprint with the permission of OSA. The paper can be found at the following URL on the OSA website: []. Systematic or multiple reproduction or distribution to multiple locations via electronic or other means is prohibited and is subject to penalties under law.


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