Seminar Events

Upcoming Seminars

Plasmonic Modulators for Microwave Photonics Applications

By Dr. Maurizio Burla, Institute of Electromagnetic Fields (IEF),ETH Zurich

Date: Tuesday, August 22, 2:00pm

Place: McGill University, McConnell Eng. Building,

3480 University Street, room MC603


Abstract.  Plasmonic modulators recently demonstrated ultrafast operation (>170 GHz), ultra-compact footprints (10s µm2) and ultra-low power consumption (10s fJ/bit), with reliable operation beyond 130°C when based on ferroelectric materials on silicon. In turn, Integrated Microwave Photonics (IMWP) has been identified as an enabling technology for next-generation wireless communication systems, as it provides efficient techniques for optical signal generation and distribution of mm-waves towards antenna terminals or remote radio heads, optical control of phased arrays, and more. The application of this novel plasmonic platform to IMWP systems offers new frontiers and possibilities, and may provide unprecedented compactness and theoretically unlimited RF bandwidth to on-chip IMWP systems. Starting from a report on recent advances on plasmonic modulator devices at ETH Zurich, including plasmonic phase modulators, Mach-Zehnder and IQ-modulators, in this talk we discuss the potential of this platform for microwave photonics applications, with emphasis on mm-wave and sub-THz wireless communications and signal processing.


Maurizio Burla is a researcher and group leader at the Institute of Electromagnetic Fields (IEF) at ETH Zurich, Switzerland. He received his Ph.D. degree from the University of Twente, the Netherlands, where he worked on integrated optical beamformers for broadband phased array antenna systems. From 2012 to 2015 he has worked as a postdoctoral fellow at INRS-EMT, Montreal, Canada, on microwave and all-optical signal processing based on silicon photonic devices. His current research interests include integrated photonic and plasmonic technologies for microwave signal processing, mm-wave and sub-THz wireless communication systems, and electronic-photonic integration.


Switching technologies for spatially and spectrally flexible optical networks


By Prof. Dan M. Marom

IEEE Photonics Society Distinguished Lecturer

Photonic Devices Group, Applied Physics Department, Hebrew University, Israel



Date: Thursday, March 17th at 2:00 PM (refreshment served)

Place: McGill University, McConnell Eng. Building, 3480 University Street, room 603 (6th floor)



Abstract.  Today’s fiber-optic communication networks span the globe, delivering broadband information across all market segments and connecting massive datacenters, businesses, and individual user’s homes.  As such, optical networks must operate reliably and efficiently when transporting the massive information capacity of the Internet, allowing networks to adapt to growing and changing demand flows and occasional interruptions.  Wavelength-selective switches (WSS) have been instrumental in fulfilling this role, enabling all-optical spectral routing of individual wavelength-division multiplexed (WDM) communication channels at network nodes.

The recent introduction of space-division multiplexing (SDM) to the optical communication domain with new fiber types, in order to economically support the exponentially growing capacity, necessitates complementary components for implementing SDM-WDM optical networks. SDM is typically realized with either multi-core or few-mode fibers and great capacity achievements have been demonstrated to-date in each fiber solution. Wavelength-selective switching functionality for these two fiber types has recently been introduced. A joint-switching WSS concept has been realized for multi-core fibers, enabling information to be encoded and routed on the SDM-WDM optical network as a spatial super-channel (single wavelength channel spanning multiple cores). This spatial super-channel routing concept with joint-switching WSS also extends to few-mode fibers. Hence a single WSS can then be used in analogous fashion to the single-mode fiber networks, thereby heralding the cost-savings benefits of SDM. A WSS with direct few-mode fiber interfaces has been demonstrated with the few-mode beams routed in free-space just as the single mode beam does in a conventional WSS. A study on the pass band filtering effect and mode mixing due to the spectral switching of dispersed components revealed the spatial-spectral interplay in the mode-dependent loss attributes of the few-mode fiber WSS. Such advanced WSS prototypes will serve the next generation transport networks when SDM is fully adopted by carriers.

Dan M. Marom is an Associate Professor in the Applied Physics Department at Hebrew University, Israel, heading the Photonic Devices Group. He received the B.Sc. Degree in Mechanical Engineering and the M.Sc. Degree in Electrical Engineering, both from Tel-Aviv University, Israel, in 1989 and 1995, respectively, and was awarded a Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), in 2000. His 20 year research career in optical communications started during his Master’s degree, where he investigated free-space, polarization rotation based bypass-exchange (2×2) space switches, which later on led to the founding of a start-up company. In his doctoral dissertation he demonstrated real-time optical signal processing using parametric nonlinearities applied to spectrally dispersed light, for possible modulation and detection schemes in serial ultrafast communications (tera-baud rate and beyond). From 2000 until 2005, he was a Member of the Technical Staff at the Advanced Photonics Research Department of Bell Laboratories, Lucent Technologies, where he invented and headed the research and development effort of MEMS based wavelength-selective switching solutions for optical networks. Since 2005, he has been with the Applied Physics Department, Hebrew University, Israel, where he is now an Associate Professor leading a research group pursuing his research interests in creating photonic devices and sub-systems for switching and manipulating optical signals, in guided-wave and free-space optics solutions using light modulating devices, nonlinear optics, and compound materials.

Prof. Marom is a Senior Member of the IEEE Photonics Society, and a Member of the Optical Society of America. From 1996 through 2000, he was a Fannie and John Hertz Foundation Graduate Fellow at UCSD, and was a Peter Brojde Scholar in 2006-2007. He currently serves as Senior Editor for Photonics Technology Letters, handling photonic devices related submissions.


Hybrid Opto-Electronic Packet Switch: A Promising Solution to Reduce the Energy Consumption


By Wiem Samoud, PhD candidate

Institut Mines Télécom, Télécom ParisTech,

Paris Saclay Universiy, France



Date: Monday, April 4th at 3h30pm

Place: McGill University, McConnell Eng. Building, 3480 University Street, room Mc603


Abstract.  Most transmission systems  are based on optical fibers, carrying the traffic at a relatively low energy per bit. However, due to the lack of mature optical buffers, packet switching is still performed electrically. The required Optical-Electrical-Optical (O-E-O) conversions make the switching one of the areas with the fastest-growing energy consumption. A major challenge that must be met in designing future optical networks is curbing their energy consumption. Therefore, we investigate a hybrid optoelectronic switch which consists of an optical switching matrix supplemented with a shared electronic buffer. Performance analysis taking into account different classes of service, packet classifications and switch connectivity methods, shows that the hybrid switch satisfies the requirements of all the different classes of service in terms of Packet Loss Rate and latency, while it could significantly reduce the energy consumption compared to on-the-shelf all-electrical switches, since O-E-O conversions occur only for buffered packets.

 Wiem Samoud received her engineer and master degrees in Telecommunications Systems and Networks from the Higher School of Commuications (Sup'Com) Tunis, Tunisia, both in 2012. She was awarded a National Tunisan scholarship for PhD studies, that she is currently persuing on optical networks in Télécom ParisTech, Paris, France. Since January 2016, she is a visiting PhD student in Lightwave Research Laboratory in Columbia University, New York, USA. Her current research interests are: optoelectronic packet switching, energy consumption, optical networks and transmission systems, Software Defined Networks.