Coherent Ultrafast Long Wave Infrared Communication
A vast potential for high-end photonics application remains untapped in the Long Wave Infrared region of the electromagnetic spectrum (LWIR, 8-12 μm). In particular, Free Space Optical (FSO) communications using LWIR wavelengths could present unmatched availability and speed compared to telecom and RF links, due to extremely low sensitivity to atmospheric perturbation.
The cFLOW project will bring photonic integrated circuits concepts to Quantum Cascade Lasers and Detectors (QCL & QCD) technology in order to establish a scientific and technological landmark for LWIR FSO. We will demonstrate a coherent transmission with data rate in the 20-100 Gbps range, based on devices operating at room-temperature:
- A “telecom ready” LWIR QCL chip with record modulation speed (>20GHz), 100% modulation depth, tens to hundreds of mW output power and low RF power consumption.
- A high-speed (>20 GHz) heterodyne sensor with a sensitivities three orders of magnitude higher than current solutions.
The success of the cFLOW project will completely redefine potential architectures for the wireless communications networks of the 21st century.