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End-coupled random lasers: a basis for artificial neural networks

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posted on 2023-11-30, 20:00 authored by Niccolò Caselli, Antonio Consoli, Angel Maria Mateos, Cefe López
Light interference in strongly disordered photonic media can generate lasers where random modes are amplified in unpredictable way. The ease of fabrication, along with their low coherence caused by multiple small-linewidth peaks, made random lasers (RL) emerging, efficient, speckle-free light sources and a means to achieve spectral super-resolution. With potential to become a mature and accessible technology, their complex system's nature furnishes endless opportunities to unveil fundamental physics, since they can act as elements of optical network architectures. To date no experimental studies have analyzed the optical interaction between independent resonators in networks of RLs. Realizing RLs with a pumped strip joining two rough mirrors, we experimentally investigate and numerically simulate the emergence of networks when, by sharing scattering centers, RLs become coupled. We prove that the emission of a single RL can be manipulated by the action of others in the network, giving rise to substantial peak rearrangements and energy redistribution, fingerprint of mode coupling. Our findings, involving a few coupled RLs, firmly set the basis for the study of full-grown photonic networks. Oddly, both their deep understanding and their deployment as hardware clearly point in the direction of a novel disruptive technology: artificial intelligence on photonic random neural networks.

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