Research axes

Optical Communications

The research axis focuses on the development of devices, protocols and communication network architectures for the transmission of information over optical fibers. It aims at increasing the spectral efficiency of high-speed transmissions through complex modulation formats, integrated multidimensional multiplexing systems, specialty fibers and signal processing methods.

Work also addresses network flexibility through all-optical routing, network energy efficiency through low power silicon photonic devices and subsystems, and connectivity through RF signal distribution over fiber. This research group also studies photonic devices and the design of dedicated components. It aims to demonstrate the operation of subsystems for optical information encoding and processing. An important part of the work is of an experimental nature and is supported by the research infrastructures available within the group.

Silicon photonic chip
by Hao Sun, McGill University

Head of research

Lawrence R. Chen

Full Professor, McGill


Research Themes


Modulation formats

Ultra Dense Wavelength Division Multiplexing (UDWDM)
Quadrature Phase Shift Keying (QPSK)
M-ary Phase Shift Keying (M-PSK)
Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (QAM)
Multi-Level Quadrature Amplitude Modulation (M-QAM)
Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM)
Discrete Multi-Tone (DMT)
Multi-level formats
Optical amplification and regeneration
Signal detection and processing
Modulation format conversion
Forward error correction (FEC)
Optical pulse shaping
Ultrafast computing and information processing
Characterization of ultra-rapid signals and photonic devices
Ultrafast pulse coding/decoding


All-optical networks

Packet switching
Wavelength routing
Wavelength conversion
Local networks
Optical labelling
All-optical signal processing
Cognitive optical networks
Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing (OFDM)
Spatial multiplexing
Agile routing
Fast frequency metrology
All-optical switching
Coherent optical link characterization and monitoring


Wideband access

Free-space communication


Photonic components for applications in telecommunication networks and data centers

Integrated Microwave Photonics
Wideband modulators
Tunable filters
Analog-digital converters
Direct modulation lasers
Frequency and modal filters
Mux/Demux for spatial multiplexing
Weakly multimode fibers
Ring-core fibers
Multi-core fibers
Microstructured fibers
Optical device enabling software defined networks (SDN)
Non-linear waveguides
Energy efficient high-speed receptors

COPL members

The COPL brings together talented scientists who are distinguished by the excellence of their research and by their dedication to the training of the next generation of highly qualified personnel in optics-photonics. 

Our members