Jun 2019, Volume 12 Issue 2

Cover illustration

  • Terahertz (THz) spectroscopy has drawn a significant amount of attention in the fields ranging from homeland security to environmental monitoring, because of its capability of non-invasive, non-destructive measurement. However, advanced THz remote sensing techniques are obstructed by strong absorption by water vapor in the ambient air, as well as the difficulties in generating intense broadband coherent THz radiation and effective detection from remote distance. The THz wave [Detail] ...

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    Kang LIU, Pingjie HUANG, Xi-Cheng ZHANG

    With the increasing demands for remote spectroscopy in many fields ranging from homeland security to environmental monitoring, terahertz (THz) spectroscopy has drawn a significant amount of attention because of its capability to acquire chemical spectral signatures non-invasively. However, advanced THz remote sensing techniques are obstructed by quite a few factors, such as THz waves being strongly absorbed by water vapor in the ambient air, difficulty to generate intense broadband coherent THz source remotely, and hard to transmit THz waveform information remotely without losing the signal to noise ratio, etc. In this review, after introducing different THz air-photonics techniques to overcome the difficulties of THz remote sensing, we focus mainly on theoretical and experimental methods to improve THz generation and detection performance for the purpose of remote sensing through tailoring the generation and detection media, air-plasma.

    For the THz generation part, auto-focusing ring-Airy beam was introduced to enhance the THz wave generation yield from two-color laser induced air plasma. By artificially modulated exotic wave packets, it is exhibited that abruptly auto-focusing beam induced air-plasma can give an up to 5.3-time-enhanced THz wave pulse energy compared to normal Gaussian beam induced plasma under the same conditions. At the same time, a red shift on the THz emission spectrum is also observed. A simulation using an interference model to qualitatively describe these behaviors has be developed.

    For the THz detection part, the results of THz remote sensing at 30 m using THz-radiation-enhanced-emission-of-fluorescence (THz-REEF) technique are demonstrated, which greatly improved from the 10 m demonstration last reported. The THz-REEF technique in the counter-propagation geometry was explored, which is proved to be more practical for stand-off detections than co-propagation geometry. We found that in the counter-propagating geometry the maximum amplitude of the REEF signal is comparable to that in the co-propagating case, whereas the time resolved REEF trace significantly changes. By performing the study with different plasmas, we observed that in the counter-propagating geometry the shape of the REEF trace depends strongly on the plasma length and electron density. A new theoretical model suggesting that the densest volume of the plasma does not contribute to the fluorescence enhancement is proposed to reproduce the experimental measurements.

    Our results further the understanding of the THz-plasma interaction and highlight the potential of THz-REEF technique in the plasma detection applications.

    Yuhe ZHAO, Xu WANG, Dingshan GAO, Jianji DONG, Xinliang ZHANG

    Optical pulse processor meets the urgent demand for high-speed, ultra wideband devices, which can avoid electrical confinements in various fields, e.g., all-optical communication, optical computing technology, coherent control and microwave fields. To date, great efforts have been made particularly in on-chip programmable pulse processing. Here, we experimentally demonstrate a programmable pulse processor employing 16-cascaded Mach-Zehnder interferometer coupled microring resonator (MZI-MRR) structure based on silicon-on-insulator wafer. With micro-heaters loaded to the device, both amplitude and frequency tunings can be realized in each MZI-MRR unit. Thanks to its reconfigurability and integration ability, the pulse processor has exhibited versatile functions. First, it can serve as a fractional differentiator whose tuning range is 0.51−2.23 with deviation no more than 7%. Second, the device can be tuned into a programmable optical filter whose bandwidth varies from 0.15 to 0.97 nm. The optical filter is also shape tunable. Especially, 15-channel wavelength selective switches are generated.

    Md. Nazmul HOSSEN, Md. FERDOUS, Kawsar AHMED, Md. Abdul KHALEK, Sujan CHAKMA, Bikash Kumar PAUL

    In this paper, we propose a photonic crystal fiber (PCF) polarization filter based on surface plasmon resonance (SPR) characteristics. Gold nanowire is used as the active plasmonic material. Light into silica core becomes coupled to gold nanowire stimulating SPR. It splits light into two orthogonal (x-polarization and y-polarization) polarization in the second order of surface plasmon polarization. Numerical investigations of the proposed PCF filter is finite element method (FEM). By tuning the diameter of gold nanowire and shifting their position, the performance of the proposed PCF filter is inspected rigorously. Filtering of any polarization can be obtained by properly placing the metal wires. The maximum confinement loss of x-polarization is 692.25 dB/cm and y-polarization is 1.13 dB/cm offers at resonance position 1.42 µm. Such a confinement loss difference between two orthogonal polarizations makes PCF a talented candidate to filter devices. Consequently, the recommended PCF structure is useful for polarization device.

    Rekha SAHA, Md. Mahbub HOSSAIN, Md. Ekhlasur RAHAMAN, Himadri Shekhar MONDAL

    High birefringence with low confinement loss photonic crystal fiber (PCF) has significant advantages in the field of sensing, dispersion compensation devices, nonlinear applications, and polarization filter. In this report, two different models of PCFs are presented and compared. Both the models contain five air holes rings with combination of circular and elliptical air holes arrangement. Moreover, the elliptical shaped air holes polarization and the third ring air holes rotational angle are varied. To examine different guiding characteristics, finite element method (FEM) with perfectly matched layer (PML) absorbing boundary condition is applied from 1.2 to 1.8 µm wavelength range. High birefringence, low confinement loss, high nonlinearity, and moderate dispersion values are successfully achieved in both the PCFs models. Numeric analysis shows that model-1 gives higher birefringence (2.75 × 102) and negative dispersion (−540.67 ps/(nm·km)) at 1.55 µm wavelength. However, model-2 gives more small confinement loss than model-1 at the same wavelength. In addition, the proposed design demonstrates the variation of rotation angle has great impact to enhance guiding properties especially the birefringence.

    Kuanhong XU, Xiaonong ZHU, Peng HUANG, Zhiqiang Yu, Nan ZHANG

    A peculiar and regular diffraction pattern is recorded while using either a color or a monochrome charge-coupled device (CCD) camera to capture the image of the micro air plasma produced by femtosecond laser pulses. The diffraction pattern strongly disturbs the observation of the air plasma, so the origin and eliminating method of these diffraction patterns must be investigated. It is found that the Fourier transform of the periodic surface structure of either the mask mosaic of the color CCD or the pixel array of the monochrome CCD is responsible for the formation of the observed pattern. The residual surface reflection from the protection window of a CCD camera plays the essential role in forming the interesting two-dimensional diffraction spots on the same CCD sensor. Both experimental data and theoretical analyses confirm our understanding of this phenomenon. Therefore removing the protection window of the CCD camera can eliminate these diffraction patterns.

    Xiaoli JING, Haobo CHENG, Yongfu WEN

    A fast and effective shape reconstruction method of large aspheric specular surfaces with high order terms is proposed in fringe reflection technique, which combines modal estimation with high-order finite-difference algorithm. The iterative equation with high-order truncation errors is derived for calculating the specular surface with large aperture based on high-order finite-difference algorithm. To achieve the wavefront estimation and improve convergence speed, the numerical orthogonal transformation method based on Zernike polynomials is implemented to obtain the initial iteration value. The reconstruction results of simulated surface identified the advantages of the proposed method. Furthermore, a freeform in illuminating system has been used to demonstrate the validity of the improved method in practical measurement. The results show that the proposed method has the advantages of making the reconstruction of different shape apertures accurate and rapid. In general, this method performs well in measuring large complex objects with high frequency information in practical measurement.

    Tianliang WANG, Xiaoying LIU

    In this paper, we proposed a novel modulation format identification method for square M-quadrature amplitude modulation (M-QAM) signals which is based on amplitude histogram space of the incoming data after analog-to-digital conversion, chromatic dispersion compensation at the receiver. We demonstrated the identification of quadrature phase-shift keying (QPSK), 16-QAM, 64-QAM formats with an amplitude histogram space. Simulation results show that it achieve 100% identification accuracy when the incoming signal OSNR is 14 dB to identify the modulation format of QPSK, 16-QAM, and 64-QAM signals in digital coherent systems. The method has low complexity and small delay.

    Jeremiah O. BANDELE, Malcolm WOOLFSON, Andrew J. PHILLIPS

    The performance of a wavelength-division multiplexing (WDM) free-space optical (FSO) communication system in a turbulent atmosphere employing optical amplifiers to improve capacity is investigated, in the presence of amplified spontaneous emission noise, scintillation, beam spreading, atmospheric attenuation and interchannel crosstalk. Using on-off keying modulation, Monte Carlo simulation techniques are used to obtain the average bit error rate and system capability due to scintillation and the effect of introducing a power control algorithm (PCA) to the system is investigated. The PCA ensures that at any receiving instant, the same turbulence-free powers are received by all the receiving lenses. The performance of various WDM FSO communication system configurations such as non-amplified systems with an adaptive decision threshold (NOAADT), non-amplified systems with a non-adaptive decision threshold, fixed gain amplified systems with an adaptive decision threshold, fixed gain amplified systems with a non-adaptive decision threshold and saturated gain amplified systems with a non-adaptive decision threshold (SOANADT) are investigated. Results obtained show that the SOANADT is superior to the NOAADT and the PCA is only beneficial in amplified systems.

    Love KUMAR, Amarpal SINGH, Vishal SHARMA

    Passive optical networks (PONs) offer sufficient bandwidth to transfer huge amount having different packet sizes and data rates being generated by fusion of various networks. Additionally, multiple optical line terminals (OLTs) PONs reduce the computational complexity of data processing for nonuniform traffic. However,in order to improve the bandwidth allocation efficiency of a mixture of service providers, dynamic bandwidth algorithm (DBA) is needed for uplink communication. In this paper, a PON based open access network (OAN) is analyzed for bi-directional communication at various data rates. Multiple wavelengths are used to modulate the data of various service providers to evade the complicated DBA for uplink data broadcasting. The performance of the network is reported in terms of bandwidth exploitation, uplink effectiveness, overhead-to-data ratio and time cycle duration. The network is analyzed at various data rates to reveal the data accommodation capacity.

    Muhammad Noaman ZAHID, Jianliang JIANG, Saad RIZVI

    Fiber optic sensors have been widely used and studied in recent times. This paper presents operating principles and applications of fiber optic sensors namely reflectometric and interferometric fiber optic sensors. Majority of optical fiber sensors fall under these two broad categories. Both interferometric and reflectometric fiber optic sensors are becoming popular for their ease of use, flexibility, long distance sensing, and potentially noise free detection. Also, these sensors can easily be used in various applications such as structural health monitoring, perimeter intrusion detection, temperature monitoring, and other numerous applications. This paper broadly classifies fiber optic sensors into two subtypes. The paper further highlights different sensors based on their sensing resolution, range, spatial advantages, and applications.