Current spectrometer devices cover a wide variety of applications with very diverse specifications, using various different operation principles and technical realizations. Most of these are large in size, costly and critically dependent on alignment and precision in fabrication.
We are interested in finding a new and universal approach to optical spectrometers that are inherently stable and small, can offer diverse specifications over a wide wavelength range, are self-calibrating and are highly tolerant to fabrication errors. Exploiting the advantages of photonic integrated circuits (PICs), specifically, based on high-contrast low-loss Si3N4 / SiO2 glass waveguides, we investigate novel spectrometer devices based on, e.g., tunable and programmable networks of micro ring resonators which provide high wavelength selectivity. An easy and flexible control of performance, self-calibration and high tolerance to fabrication errors is investigated via electronic, data driven control using, e.g., neural-network algorithms.