OSE Seminar by Prof. Frédéric Grillot on Chaos cryptography in semiconductor lasers: From promises to reality

Departmental News

Prof. Frederic Grillot

Posted: January 27, 2020

Date: Thursday, January 30, 2020

Time:  11:30 AM to 12:30 PM

Location:  CHTM, Room 101

Map to CHTM:


ADA Accommodations are available.


Prof. Frédéric Grillot

Telecom Paris, France


Semiconductor lasers, invented in 1962, are vital to our modern daily life. For example, they generate the optical impulses that carry ever-greater amounts of information in fiberoptic networks over great distances. The emergence of irregular and unpredictable pulsations and dynamical instabilities from a laser was first noted during the very early stages of the development of lasers. Pulses with amplitude varying in an erratic manner were reported in the output of the solid-state ruby laser. However, the lack of knowledge of what would later be termed butterfly effect, i.e. deterministic chaos, resulted in these initial observations being either left unexplained or wrongly attributed to noise. In this presentation, I will review and highlight the fundamental physics underpinning the butterfly effect in semiconductor lasers and detail the opportunities in harnessing it, particularly to achieve secure communications in long-distance channel links and in scalable modules. In the latter case, I will discuss the importance of using mid-infrared quantum cascade lasers for chaos cryptography. As opposed to quantum communications, which are essentially bounded by the single-photon very-low-flux environment, hence limiting the range and rate of the secure channel, I will show how the butterfly effect at mid-infrared wavelengths can create unconditionally secure free-space communications between a transmitter and receiver, even in a high-photon-flux environment.


Frédéric Grillot is a Full Professor at Télécom Paris, one of the top French public institutions of higher education and research in engineering, and a Research Professor with the Center for High Technology Materials at the University of New Mexico. His current research interests include, but are not limited to, advanced quantum-confined devices using new materials, such as quantum dots and dashes, light emitters based on intersubband transitions, nonlinear dynamics, and optical chaos in semiconductor lasers systems, as well as microwave and silicon photonics applications.

Dr. Grillot has made outstanding technical contributions in optics, photonics, and optoelectronics. He has strongly contributed to the field of quantum dot nanostructures and their utilization as future active devices with superior performance. Among his major achievements, he also proposed new direction for designing silicon-on-insulator waveguides with extremely low propagation loss. More recently, Dr. Grillot has pioneered the field of quantum cascade lasers, showing the first chaotic dynamics at mid-infrared wavelengths, paving the way to free-space optical communications using semiconductor laser chaos.

Dr. Grillot has served diligently and successfully to the general optics community and the OSA, in particular as an Associate Editor of Optics Express. As of now, he has published 96 journal articles, one book, three book chapters, and more than 200 contributions in major international conferences and workshops. Dr. Grillot is also a Fellow Member of the SPIE as well as a Senior Member of the OSA and the IEEE Photonics Society.