Optical Fiber Sensors & Integrated Photonics Subsystems

Research Topics

“Optical Fiber Sensors and Integrated Photonic Subsystems"

We are addressing two main research area:

Optical Fiber Sensors

Our main goal consists in studying and developing advanced fiber optic sensor solutions for applications in a wide range of strategic industrial sectors, ranging from oil&gas, energy, transportation, structural health monitoring to security and safety. The advantages provided by fiber optic sensors are well known and range from immunity to electromagnetic interference, light weight, possible integration within the structures to be monitored, large multiplexing capabilities for point sensors and possibility to provide continuous measurements over tens of kilometers of optical fiber with meter or sub-meter scale spatial resolutions. Fiber optic sensing of physical parameters like temperature, strain, vibration are fundamentally based on two alternative approaches: distributed sensing, in which the measurand is continuously and often quasi-statically sensed along the optical fiber exploiting Raman, Brillouin and Rayleigh scattering effects, and discrete or point sensing, where the measurand is obtained at specific fiber locations only, allowing however dynamic measurements using for instance Fiber Bragg Gratings (FBG). We are considering both approaches and in addition we are also developing hybrid sensor systems providing both distributed and discrete readouts simultaneously.

The group team at TECIP works in closed cooperation with INFIBRA TECHNOLOGIES S.r.l. , spin-off company of Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna.

Integrated Photonic Subsystems

Photonic Integrated Circuits (PIC) nowadays allow the integration of photonic, opto-electronic and electronic processing modules at low cost, with high energy efficiency, small footprint (in the micrometric order) and with the possibility of mass production. They will play a key role for future development of large volume market sectors such as datacenter interconnection and integrated sensors. There are different technologies for PICs, being the most used: Silicon-On-Insulator –SOI, III-V photonics (Indium Phosphide –InP- and Gallium Arsenide –GaAs) and Silicon Nitride –Si3N4/SiO2.

Our main goal in this area consists in the design, fabrication and characterization of basic building blocks necessary for optical switching and interconnection in datacom and for fiber sensor readout units development in different platforms.