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ALCYON PHOTONICS: A new IO-CSIC spin-off company to harness the potential of optic chips  
ALCYON PHOTONICS: A new IO-CSIC spin-off company to harness the potential of optic chips
ALCYON PHOTONICS is a recently-created spin-off company funded by the seed venture fund BeAble Capital, aiming to bring some the latest developments of the Spanish National Research Council (CSIC) to the rapidly-growing photonics market. Led by Dr. Aitor Villafranca, Alcyon Photonics will develop high-end multipurpose photonic building blocks, which can be combined to create a wide variety of chips for diverse applications including optical communications and interconnects, bio-chemical sensors, and microsatellites, to name a few.

Recognized as a Key Enabling Technology by the European Commission under the H2020 programme, photonic devices provide compact and efficient solutions capable of overcoming current limitations of copper-based communications, and of exploiting the untapped potential of miniaturized sensing and analysis platforms. In the competitive environment of Silicon photonics, one of the main added values of Alcyon Photonics is the use of subwavelength gratings, that is, periodic structures with smaller features than the light propagating through them. These structures act as innovative meta-materials which provide an additional degree of freedom in the chip design, efficiently tailoring the medium response and enabling the design of high-performance elements with low losses and broad bandwidths.

The first prototypes of the company will be a novel broadband mode multiplexer, providing low losses and crosstalk in a reduced footprint; and a compact polarization splitter, benefiting from an innovative structure based on subwavelength rotation. Both devices are the result of the joint research performed between the "Nonlinear Dynamics and Fiber Optics Group" of CSIC"s Optics Institute and the "Photonics and Radio-Frequency Research Lab" of the University of Málaga. Both institutions have already signed R&D contracts with Alcyon Photonics to participate in the development of these promising technologies.

In the future, this selection of products is expected to be expanded with other novel subwavelength-powered photonic building blocks of diverse purposes. To achieve this goal, Alcyon Photonics firmly believes in the combination of cutting-edge scientific innovation and rapid adaptation to changing market needs, facilitated by the versatile nature of the building block approach.


 
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