Integrated Optical Phased Arrays: LiDAR, Augmented Reality, and Beyond

Feb 17, 2020, 4:30 pm – 5:30 pm



Event Description


By enabling optical microsystems with new functionalities, improved system performance, and reduced size, weight, and power, integrated photonics is positioned to enable next-generation optical technologies that facilitate revolutionary advances for numerous fields spanning science and engineering, including computing, sensing, communications, displays, quantum, and biology.

An emerging class of integrated photonic systems is integrated optical phased arrays, which enable manipulation and dynamic control of free-space light in a compact form factor, at low costs, and in a non-mechanical way. As such, integrated optical phased arrays have emerged as a promising technology for many wide-reaching applications, including light detection and ranging (LiDAR) for autonomous vehicles, augmented-reality displays, free-space optical communications, and trapped-ion quantum computing.

This talk will present recent advances in integrated optical phased array architectures, results, and applications. First, the first beam-steering optical phased arrays monolithically integrated with on-chip rare-earth-doped lasers and heterogeneously integrated with CMOS driving electronics will be shown and the first single-chip coherent integrated LiDAR results will be presented; these demonstrations are important steps towards practical commercialization of low-cost and high-performance integrated LiDAR sensors for autonomous vehicles. Next, the first integrated optical phased arrays that focus radiated light to tightly-confined spots in the near field and that generate quasi-Bessel beams will be discussed; these near-field modalities have the potential to advance a number of application areas, such as optical trapping for biological characterization, trapped-ion quantum computing, and laser-based 3D printing. Finally, a novel transparent integrated-phased-array-based holographic display will be proposed as a highly-discreet and fully-holographic solution for the next generation of augmented-reality head-mounted displays; the first integrated passive near-eye displays that generate holograms, the first integrated visible-light liquid-crystal-based modulators, and the first actively-tunable visible-light integrated phased arrays will be presented.


Jelena Notaros is currently a Ph.D. student and researcher in the Photonic Microsystems Group at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her B.S. degree from the University of Colorado Boulder in 2015 and M.S. degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2017. Her research interests are in integrated silicon photonics devices, systems, and applications.

Jelena's work has been published in top-tier Nature, OSA, and IEEE journals and conference proceedings. She is a Top-Three DARPA Riser, a DARPA D60 Plenary Speaker, an MIT Presidential Fellow, a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, an MIT EECS Rising Star, and an AIM Photonics Academy Supporting Instructor. Jelena was an invited speaker at 2020 SPIE Photonics West, 2019 OSA CLEO, 2019 OSA IPR, 2020 OSA NETWORKS, and 2019 IEEE Photonics North. She was the recipient of the 2019 OSA CLEO Chair's Pick Award, 2014 IEEE Region 5 Student Paper Competition Award, 2019 MIT MARC Best Overall Paper Award, 2019 MIT MARC Best Pitch Award, 2018 and 2014 OSA Incubic Milton Chang Student Travel Grant, 2014 Sigma Xi Undergraduate Research Award, 2015 CU Boulder Chancellor’s Recognition Award, 2015 CU Boulder College of Engineering Outstanding Graduate for Academic Achievement Award, and 2015 CU Boulder Electrical Engineering Distinguished Senior Award.

Electrical Engineering