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Photonics: Maintaining Competitiveness in the Information Era Panel on Photonics Science and Technology Assessment Solid State Sciences Committee Board on Physics and Astronomy Commission on Physical Sciences, Mathematics, and Resources National Research Council NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS Washington, D.C. 1988
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NATIONAL ACADEMY PRESS n 2101 Constitution Avenue u Washington, DC 20418 NOTICE: The project that is the subject of this report was approved by the Governing Board of the National Research Council, whose members are drawn from the councils of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. This report has been reviewed by a group other than the authors according to procedures approved by a Report Review Committee consisting of members of the National Academy of Sciences, the National Academy of Engineering, and the Institute of Medicine. The National Academy of Sciences is a private, nonprofit, self-perpetuating society of dis- tinguished scholars engaged in scientific and engineering research, dedicated to the furtherance of science and technology and to their use for the general welfare. Upon the authority of the charter granted to it by the Congress in 1863, the Academy has a mandate that requires it to advise the federal government on scientific and technical matters. Dr. Frank Press is president of the National Academy of Sciences. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964, under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences, as a parallel organization of outstanding engineers. It is autono- mous in its administration and in the selection of its members, sharingwith the National Academy of Sciences the responsibility for advising the federal government. The National Academy of Engineering also sponsors engineering programs aimed at meeting national needs, encourages education and research, and recognizes the superior achievements of engineers. Dr. Robert M. White is president of the National Academy of Engineering. The Institute of Medicine was established in 1970 by the National Academy of Sciences to secure the services of eminent members of appropriate professions in the examination of policy matters pertaining to the health of the public. The Institute acts under the responsibility given to the National Academy of Sciences by its congressional charter to be an adviser to the federal government and, upon its own initiative, to identify issues of medical care, research, and educa- tion. Dr. Samuel O. Thier is president of the Institute of Medicine. The National Research Council was established by the National Academy of Sciences in 1916 to associate the broad community of science and technology with the Academis purposes of furthering knowledge and of advising the federal government. Functioning in accordance with general policies determined by the Academy, the Council has become the principal operating agency of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Engineering in providing services to the government, the public, and the scientific and engineering communities. The Council is administered jointly by both Academies and the Institute of Medicine. Dr. Frank Press and Dr. Robert M. White are chairman and vice chairman, respectively, of the National Research Council. This report was supported by the Technology Agenda Program of the National Academy of Engineering, the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research through the National Science Foundation under Grant No. DMR-8501909, and the Office of Naval Research under Grant No. N00014-88-J-1006. LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOG CARD NUMBER 88-61726 INTERNATIONAL STANDARD BOOK NUMBER 0-309-03940-1 Printed in the United States of America First Printing, August 1988 Second Printing, January 1989 Third Printing, July 1989
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PHOTONICS SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT PANEL JOHN R. WHINNERY, University of California, Berkeley, Chairman VENKATESH NARAYANAMURTI, Sandia National Laboratories, Vice-Chairman JOHN D. CROW, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center THOMAS G. GIALLORENZI, Naval Research Laboratory AWN J. HEEGER, University of California, Santa Barbara NICK HOLONYAK, Jr., University of Illinois, Urbana ALAN HUANG, AT&T Bell Laboratories FREDERICK J. LEONBERGER, United Technologies Research Center ROBERT D. MAURER, Corning Glass Works STEWART D. PERSONICK, Bell Communications Research S. THOMAS PICRAUX, Sandia National Laboratories JAMES J. WYNNE, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center Donald C. Shapero, Staff Director Robert L. Riemer, Program Officer
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SOLID STATE SCIENCES COMMITTEE HERBERT H. JOHNSON, Cornell University, Chairman BILL R. APPLETON, Oak Ridge National Laboratory PRAVEEN CHAUDHARI, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center JOHN D. CORBETT, Iowa State University CURTIS W. FRANK, Stanford University JAMES S. LANGER, University of California, Santa Barbara J. DAVID LITSTER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology THOMAS J. MCCARTHY, University of Massachusetts ALBERT NARATH, AT&T Bell Laboratories ROBERT E. NEWNHAM, Pennsylvania State University PAUL S. PEERCY, Sandia National Laboratories E. WARD PLUMMER, University of Pennsylvania JAMES R. RICE, Harvard University ALBERT I. SCHINDLER, Purdue University LYLE H. SCHWARTZ, National Bureau of Standards ROBERT F. SEKERKA, Carnegie-Mellon University JOHN R. SMITH, General Motors Research Laboratory Donald C. Shapero, Staff Director Robert L. Riemer, Program Officer 1V
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BOARD ON PHYSICS AND ASTRONOMY NORMAN F. RAMSEY, Harvard University, Chairman SAM B. TREIMAN, Princeton University, Vice-Chairman ROBERT K. ADAIR, Yale University RICHARD S. BERRY, University of Chicago WILLIAM F. BRINKMAN, AT&T Bell Laboratories ARTHUR D. CODE, University of Wisconsin, Madison JOHN M. DAWSON, University of California, Los Angeles FRANK D. DRAKE, University of California, Santa Cruz ANDREA K. DUPREE, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory BERTRAND I. HALPERIN, Harvard University JOHN J. HOPFIELD, California Institute of Technology KENNETH I. KELLERMANN, National Radio Astronomy Observatory CHARLES F. KENNEL, University of California, Los Angeles DANIEL KLEPPNER, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Donald C. Shapero, Staff Director Robert L. Riemer, Program Officer Susan M. Wyatt, Administrative Specialist v
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COMMISSION ON PHYSICAL SCIENCES, MATHEMATICS, AND RESOURCES NORMAN HACKERMAN, Robert A. Welch Foundation, Chairman GEORGE F. CARRIER, Harvard University HERBERT D. DOAN, The Dow Chemical Company (retired) PETER EAGLESON, Massachusetts Institute of Technology DEAN E. EASTMAN, IBM T. J. Watson Research Center MARYE ANNE FOX, University of Texas GERHART FRIEDLANDER, Brookhaven National Laboratory LAWRENCE W. FUN~IOUSER, Chevron Corporation (retired) PHILLIP A. GRIFI;ITHS, Duke University CHRISTOPHER F. McKEE, University of California at Berkeley JACK E. OLIVER, Cornell University JEREMIAH P. OSTRIKER, Princeton University Observatory FRANK L. PARKER, Vanderbilt University DENIS J. PRAGER, MacArthur Foundation DAVID M. RAUP, University of Chicago RICHARD J. REED, University of Washington ROY F. SCHWITTERS, Harvard University ROBERT E. SIEVERS, University of Colorado LEON T. SILVER, California Institute of Technology LARRY L. SMARR, University of Illinois EDWARD C. STONE, JR., California Institute of Technology KARL K. TUREK1AN, Yale University Raphael G. Kasper, Executive Director Lawrence E. McCray, Associate Executive Director V1
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Foreword This report is a timely study of a critical emerging technology. While many readers of both the technical and the popular press have been transfixed by the yet-to-be-realized promises of superconductivity that have emerged in the past two years, optical technology has been building a technological armamentarium of proven science and advanced technology throughout the past three decades. As the report correctly points out, many U.S. problems in this field stem from commercialization difficulties. Firms in other countries such as Japan have managed to apply photonic technology to useful, attractive, saleable products well before products from our own companies have been able to reach the market. The Japanese, for example, have succeeded in focusing substantial technical and business attention on photonic technology and have earned a position of technical excellence. In a number of areas, Japanese optoelectronic technology is more advanced than the best available in this country. Development by the Japanese of the full potential inherent in photonics could threaten America's leadership in several areas of electronics. This competitive situation is a central predicament, and the policy recommendations spelled out in the report are responsive to it. Both govern- mental and private actions could lead to new products using photonics. It is interesting to note that Japanese leadership in photonics has developed in consumer electronics--traditionally the segment least affected by government- based technology development efforts and most leveraged by private sector initiatives. The promise of optical technology to bring improvements in bandwidth, information processing, information storage, and sensing to the consumer at ·. V11
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A. V111 FOREWORD substantially lower cost must be a major driving force for the commercializa- tion of photonic technology in this country. If we are to advance as rapidly as our competitors, our experience must in considerable part be based on high- volume manufacturing of consumer products. Development of marketable consumer products based on photonic technology (such as the automotive application discussed in relation to demonstration projects) must be a keystone of national strategy. Specialized equipment for the fabrication of photonic devices poses problems not only for laboratories and educational institutions, but also for industry. These problems mirror those found in the semiconductor industry, where many small equipment suppliers have been unable to stay in business throughout the economic cycle. The report shows the need for complementary private and public sector initiatives in advanced technology development. There is a tendency to place emphasis on calls for broad government support of research in optical science and technology. In the final analysis, however, this nation's success or failure in photonics will rest not on governmental policies alone, but at least equally on the effectiveness of our commercial establishments in deriving benefit from the market opportunities presented. Photonics is at the stage where high-temperature superconductor technology may be 10 or 15 years from now. If we are to be ready to take advantage of superconducting technology when it is properly developed, we should start by "practicing" on photonics. The Council of the NAE, which commissioned this project, is grateful to chairman John Whinnery and the members of the photonics committee, as well as Donald C. Shapero, Robert L. Riemer, Jesse Ausubel, and other members of the staff of the Academy complex, for bringing this thoughtful and complete report forward for public debate and consideration. Robert M. White President National Academy of Engineering
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Contents EXECUTIVE SUMMARY 1 INTRODUCTION 2 OPPORTUNITIES IN TELECOMMUNICATIONS OPPORTUNITIES IN INFORMATION PROCESSING 4 OPPORTUNITIES IN STORAGE AND DISPLAY 5 OPPORTUNITIES IN SENSOR TECHNOLOGY 6 POLICY ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS APPENDIXES A Panel and Subcommittee Members B Workshop and Other Outside Speakers C Selected Professional Societies, Journals, Review Articles, and Reports D Technology Status of Optical Telecommunications E Fiber-Optic Sensor Performance F Glossary 1X 1 6 9 23 38 51 65 77 79 81 84 95 98
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