Innovative optical circuits worth Calouste Gulbenkian prize
Rita Bastos from CICECO and IT won incentive prize to develop low cost photonic integrated circuits for next generation optical access networks.

The researcher Rita Bastos wants to produce inexpensive integrated optical circuits, allowing the implementation of high spectral efficiency modulation techniques for access networks. These circuits will allow access to high-bandwidth networks to residential users. Confused? Not really if you consider that the work of the CICECO researcher aims to help to be technically possible in the future to have access at home to a much faster internet and a television picture quality. The project has just been awarded with the 2015 edition of the Research Incentive Programme of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

In recent years, telecommunication networks have evolved in order to increase the information carrying capacity and the transmission rate. The volume of information has grown exponentially and it is expected to continue. In this context, points the doctoral student of physics department and Electronic Engineering and Telecommunications of the UA, "a technological development is necessary in order to support the increase of bandwidth".

If the first steps have been taken, "through the migration of electric technology to optical fiber, used for the transport of information, the implementation of optical transport technology in telecommunications networks requires the development of integrated optical devices that aim to process the signal. " In this context, explains Rita Bastos, "the integrated optical aims to introduce several features in signal processing in a single chip, enabling compact systems".

In addition, "The future of optical fiber networks require economically viable architectures that allow a reduction in production and implementation costs". In conclusion, it is therefore necessary to develop an integrated optical technology, which allows having high bandwidth with low cost production in order to enable large-scale use.

Optical Access Networks1Optical Access Networks 2Entitled " Low cost photonic integrated circuits for Next Generation Optical Access Networks" and guided by UA teachers Maria Rute Ferreira André (CICECO) and Mário Lima (IT) and Paulo André, from Instituto Superior Técnico, the research Rita Bastos aims to develop and characterize "low cost optical integrated circuits, which would allow the implementation of high spectral efficiency modulation techniques for the access network, making accessible high-bandwidth networks to residential users". The integrated optical devices, explains the researcher, "will be produced at low cost and with low complexity, using organic-inorganic hybrid materials as substrates and direct writing by UV laser radiation to the standardization of optical structures on the films surface".

The project, whose pilot phase will take place in CICECO - Aveiro Materials Institute and Aveiro and Instituto de Telecomunicações (IT), both associated laboratories of the UA, has already won an award in the 2015 edition of the Research Incentive Programme of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

"Since the Research Incentive Programme of Gulbenkian Foundation annually distinguishes high creative research potential proposals in various scientific fields, it is with great satisfaction and gratitude that I receive this award, which proves that the theme of this project is valued, recognized and will allow to have better conditions for scientific developments ", welcomes Rita Bastos.

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