Novel concept for visible and near infrared spectro-interferometry: laser-written layered arrayed waveguide gratings

G. Douglass, A. Arriola, I. Heras, G. Martin*, E. Le Coarer, S. Gross, M. J. Withford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
64 Downloads (Pure)


With the growing complexity of astronomical instruments devoted to interferometry, such as MATISSE (a 4 telescope beam combiner) or FIRST (a 9 sub-apertures beam combiner), and the rebirth of space projects such as LIFE (a mid-infrared interferometer), integrated optics devices can be an interesting and complementary approach for beam combination of a large number of apertures. Moreover, one of the approaches for beam combination is pairwise combination of the inputs (either from individual telescopes or from aperture masking on a single telescope), which scales as N(N-1)/2 for an N input system. Astrophotonics devices are attractive to reduce mass and system complexity, while achieving all the beam combination in a single chip, even for a high number of inputs. The aim of this work is to develop a compact photonic device for astronomical applications and demonstrate a proof-of-concept of a spectro-interferometer. In this paper ultrafast laser inscription is used to fabricate three arrayed waveguide gratings (AWGs) stacked vertically. This arrangement enables spectral dispersion and interferometry to be measured simultaneously. Individual AWGs were designed for operation at 633 nm, and demonstrated at 633nm and 830nm. A scan between 790 and 830nm was also achieved to study the wavelength behavior of the AWG. Using a segmented mirror, light at 633nm or 830nm was injected simultaneously into three AWGs layered 40 µm apart, showing analogous behavior for all three layers and no unexpected crosstalk. Finally the three outputs were vertically combined to obtain interference fringes, showing the feasibility of spectro-interferometry and opening the way for compact astrophotonic devices devoted to phase closure studies, used in astronomy to reduce the effect of atmospheric turbulence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)18470-18479
Number of pages10
JournalOptics Express
Issue number14
Publication statusPublished - 9 Jul 2018

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