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Publication # 429

429. D. A. B. Miller, "Self-aligning universal beam coupler," Opt. Express 21, 6360-6370 (2013)
http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-21-5-6360 (open access)

We propose a device that can take an arbitrary monochromatic input beam and, automatically and without any calculations, couple it into a single-mode guide or beam. Simple feedback loops from detectors to modulator elements allow the device to adapt to any specific input beam form. Potential applications include automatic compensation for misalignment and defocusing of an input beam, coupling of complex modes or multiple beams from fibers or free space to single-mode guides, and retaining coupling to a moving source. Straightforward extensions allow multiple different overlapping orthogonal input beams to be separated simultaneously to different single-mode guides with no splitting loss in principle. The approach is suitable for implementation in integrated optics platforms that offer elements such as phase shifters, Mach-Zehnder interferometers, grating couplers, and integrated monitoring detectors, and the basic approach is applicable in principle to other types of waves, such as microwaves or acoustics.

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Movie of self-alignment process

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