The optoelectronic laboratory is a part of the Center for Telecommunications Studies (CETUC) at the Pontifical Catholic University of Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio).
The optoelectronic and instrumentation group, coordinated by Prof. Jean Pierre von der Weid, officially began its activities in 1995, although the group had worked in the area since 1983. In the beginning, the research was concentrated in the metrology of optical fibers and in the characterization of optoelectronic materials and devices. Measurement systems of the different parameters of an optical fiber were developed, including an optical interferometer with self-adjusted feedback for whom a patent was accepted in Europe, North America and Japan.
Concerning the area of optical metrology, the group has international leadership in high sensitivity reflectometry and in optical interferometry. This technique has being applied to the characterization of high performance optical devices, for which the return losses are extremely low. With the optical frequency domain reflectometry (OFDR) technique, a sensitivity of -152.5 dB was reached, a world record with this technique. These days the OFDR technique is being applied to Optical Coherent Tomography (OCT) to analyze biological tissues.
The group has a modern laboratory for the development of nanostructures for optoelectronic and electronic devices, the Labsem, where devices with high figure of merit have been constructed. Their activities range from epitaxial growth (with layers) to the production of devices, like the electro-optic modulators used in high-bit-rate digital communication systems, passing through different steps of study and characterization of optical, electrical, electronic and optoelectronics properties of different materials and structures.
In 1987, the first research contract was realized with Petrobras to develop sensors and optical systems for applications in deep waters. From this initial experience and resulting from the intense synergy existing between the Research and Development Center of Petrobras (CENPES) and the optoelectronic and instrumentation group of CETUC/PUC-Rio, the Research Center in Inspection Technology, CPTI was created in 2006. Since then, the group has continuously done research in instrumentation applied to petroleum technology and offshore exploration. One area of strength is the development of equipment capable of inspecting oil and gas pipelines to detect and measure defects, which are called instrumented “PIG’s”.
The latest result of this partnership is a new laboratory to do research on composite and non-metallic materials through spectrometric techniques in the frequency range known as "terahertz" (THz).
In 2000, the group began a partnership with Ericsson through which several activities have been realized including the development of a “free-space optical communication system”. The most recent research is in the transmission of high data rates through optical fibers.
Demonstrating again its interdisciplinary characteristic, since 2004 the group has been performing research in the Quantum Communication area, focusing on Quantum Cryptography. Several experiments have been demonstrated with focus on the transmission of single photons through optical fibers.