Historical Evolution and State-of-the-Art Fiber-Optic Communication Systems

February 1, 2024 @ 6:00 pm – 7:30 pm America/New York Timezone
MIT Lincoln Laboratory
3 Forbes Rd.
Lexington MA

Photonics Society and co-sponsoring Life Members

Speaker: Dr. René-Jean Essiambre

This presentation will first provide a historical overview of the physical media used in wired communication, from electrical wires to waveguides. A special attention will be given to the hollow metallic waveguide, an area pioneered simultaneously by MIT and Bell Labs. It will be followed by a brief survey of innovative optical transmission lines that were proposed prior to the discovery of low-loss optical fibers.

The next portion of the talk will focus on the ultimate limits of optical fibers to carry information in optical networks due to nonlinear response of the optical fibers. The role and impact of different electronic and optical technologies to improve optical network capacity will be laid out. This includes digital coherent detection, digital signal processing and optical amplification. The role and potential of solid-core optical fibers allowing multiple spatial modes in each fiber strand as well as hollow-core fibers will be discussed.

Finally, the impact of quantum technologies on optical communication will be touched upon with an experimental demonstration of detection power efficiency above ten information bits per received photon.

Biography:  René-Jean Essiambre joined Bell Labs in 1997 and is currently based at the Murray Hill laboratory in New Providence, New Jersey, USA. Dr. Essiambre worked on topics such as fiber lasers, nonlinear fiber optics, advanced modulation formats, space-division multiplexing, information theory, and high-photon-efficiency systems. He participated in the design of commercial fiber-optic communication systems where several of his inventions were implemented. He has given over 150 invited talks and helped prepare and delivered the 2018 Physics Nobel Prize Lecture on behalf of Arthur Ashkin. He served on or chaired many conference committees, including OFC, ECOC, CLEO, and IPC. He received the 2005 Engineering Excellence Award from OPTICA and is a fellow of the IEEE, OPTICA, IAS-TUM, and Bell Labs. He was President of the IEEE Photonics Society (2022-2023) and is currently the Past-President (2024-2025)