Optical Interconnects

Dr Paul Horan


A Gallium Arsenide (GaAs)
Optical Switching Array

Dr Horan investigates the use of free space optical beams to replace electrical interconnects for switching and computing applications. Joint research with Trinity College Dublin concentrates on the study of solid state III-V optical modulators. In these devices, small changes in absorption produced by an electric field are enhanced by a resonant optical cavity.

In the area of optical computing and optical neural networks, Dr Horan works in collaboration with the optronics group of Prof. John Hegarty in the Physics Dept. at Trinity College Dublin. Much of this work is carried out under the EU ESPRIT funded project SPOEC (Smart Pixel Optoelectronic Interconnects), a collaborative project headed by Heriot-Watt University (Department of Physics), with University of Glasgow (MBE and Optoelectronics Research Groups), the Paul Scherrer Institute, Zurich, and Supelec in Metz and Gif-sur-Yvette. The Dublin activity concentrates on improving the performance of solid state III-V optical modulators.

Other interests include the associated optics, optomechanics and architectures for such systems, especially for analogue image processing applications.