Photonics also includes research on photonic systems. This term is usually used for optical communication systems.
Integrated Photonic Devices
There is growing interest in low-cost photonic circuits for mass-market applications like fiber-to-the-home. For this, materials and fabrication processes suitable for all-optical photonics must be devised.
All-optical processing needs high third-order nonlinearity, gain, storage, and frequency-manipulation functions, in on-chip photonic circuits. Silicon itself has difficulties with nonlinear absorption within the appropriate power and wavelength regime, but heavy metal oxides, like Ta2O5 and Nb2O5 which may be integrated with silicon, are attractive for a wide range of optical functions, especially all-optical switching and gain.
Integrated Mid-IR devices for sensing
Mid-infrared absorption spectroscopy is the most commonly used technique for detecting the molecular signatures of an unidentified sample using their fingerprint absorption.
Waveguide evanescent field grounded spectroscopy can notice analytes at very low concentrations using their absorption fingerprints, potentially offering high sensitivity and selectivity over a good range of compounds without labeling.
The ideal molecular “fingerprint” region for biochemical analysis is dominated by the Mid-IR spectral region from 2μm - 13μm.