Publication # 445

445. D. A. B. Miller, "Perfect optics with imperfect components,"" Optica 2, 747-750 (2015). doi: 10.1364/OPTICA.2.000747

Many advanced optical functions, including spatial mode converters, linear optics quantum computing gates, and arbitrary linear optical processors for communications and other applications could be implemented using meshes of Mach–Zehnder interferometers in technologies such as silicon photonics, but performance is limited by beam splitters that deviate from the ideal 50:50 split. We propose a new architecture and a novel self-adjustment approach that automatically compensate for imperfect fabricated split ratios anywhere from 85:15 to 15:85. The entire mesh can be both optimized and programmed after initial fabrication, with progressive algorithms, without calculations or calibration, and even using only sources and detectors external to the mesh. Hence, one universal field-programmable linear array optical element could be mass fabricated, with broad process tolerances, and then configured automatically for a wide range of complex and precise linear optical functions.

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