COPERNICUS - Compact Otdm/wdm optical receivers based on photonic crystal Integrated circuits


COPERNICUS aims to develop compact demultiplexing receivers for 100Gb/s optical time division multiplexed (OTDM) and wavelength division multiplexed (WDM) signals, based on photonic crystal technology. There is a pressing need for these devices for ultra-high bandwidth data links in server farms, optical storage networks and on-board internet/entertainment systems, where demand is driving the data bandwidth and technology integration level rapidly upwards. Next generation telecom systems will also benefit from these devices for OTDM and optical packet switching. Their high-speed and bandw

idth, together with their ultra-low power consumption and extreme compactness, also make them a very promising technology for seamless cross-chip and off-chip data links for CMOS electronics. This approach has all the hallmarks of a highly disruptive technology with the potential to place Europe at the forefront of photonics.

COPERNICUS targets advances in the physics, technology, modeling, and integration of photonic crystal devices. Key devices include high-speed all-optical gates, low-crosstalk wavelength drop filters, and high-speed integrated photodetectors. These devices rely on very strong light-matter interactions arising from the large, ultra-fast nonlinear optical response of III-V semiconductors and the strong resonant field enhancement in photonic crystals. This is ideal for filters and all-optical gates, enabling a dramatic reduction in size and switching energy. Their switching energy*delay product is two orders of magnitude smaller than that of competing technologies.

Modeling will consider carrier plasma (spectral and spatial) contributions to the nonlinear optical response and develop a robust optical, thermal and electronic design tool for photonic crystal devices. New levels of photonic crystal integration will be pursued to combine these devices and achieve complex all-optical functions attractive to both medium- and long-term markets.

Project details

Scientific responsability: Stefano Trillo

 Funding source: 7th Framework Programme

Call: FP7 - Information & Communication technologies

Start date 1/01/2010 - end date 31/12/2010

Total cost: 4.179.959 €

EU contribution:2.865.000 €

EU contribution to UniFe: 258.000 €


  • THALES, Coordinator (France)
  • The University of Nottingham (United Kingdom)
  • Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique (CNRS) (France)
  • Danmarks Tekniske Universitet (Denmark)
  • MergeOptics GmbH (Germany)