We report the first demonstration of cw wavelength conversion from the telecommunications band to the mid-IR (MIR) region via four-wave mixing in silicon nanowaveguides. We measure a parametric bandwidth of 748nm by converting a 1636nm signal to produce a 2384nm idler and show continuously tunable wavelength conversion from 1792 to 2116nm. This report indicates that the advantages of silicon photonics may be leveraged to create devices for a large range of MIR applications that require cw operation. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
Integrated photonics has been slated as a revolutionary technology with the potential to mitigate the many challenges associated with on- and off-chip electrical interconnection networks. To date, all proposed chipscale photonic interconnects have been based on the crystalline silicon platform for CMOS-compatible fabrication. However, maintaining CMOS compatibility does not preclude the use of other CMOS-compatible silicon materials such as silicon nitride and polycrystalline silicon. In this work, we investigate utilizing devices based on these deposited materials to design photonic networks with multiple layers of photonic devices. We apply rigorous device optimization and insertion loss analysis on various network architectures, demonstrating that multilayer photonic networks can exhibit dramatically lower total insertion loss, enabling unprecedented bandwidth scalability. We show that significant improvements in waveguide propagation and waveguide crossing insertion losses resulting from using these materials enables the realization of topologies that were previously not feasible using only the single-layer crystalline silicon approaches.
Optical isolators are essential components in optical networks and are used to eliminate parasite reflections that are detrimental to the stability of the optical systems. The challenge in realizing optical isolators lies in the fact that in standard optoelelectronic materials, including most semiconductors and metals, Maxwell’s equations, which governs the propagation of light, are constraint by reciprocity or time-reversal symmetry. As a result, standard optical devices on chip, including some of the passive metallo-dielectric structures recently explored for isolation purposes, all have a symmetric scattering matrix and therefore fundamentally cannot function as an optical isolator. In order to break this symmetry, traditional optical isolators rely upon magneto-optical effects, which require materials that are difficult to integrate in current micro-electronic systems. The breaking of this symmetry without the need for magnetic materials has been a long-term goal in photonics. Nonlinear structures for optical isolation have been explored. However, these typically provide optical isolation only within a particular range of operating power. Here we create a non-magnetic CMOS-compatible optical isolator on a silicon chip. The isolator is based on indirect interband photonic transition, induced by electrically-driven dynamic refractive index modulation. We demonstrate an electrically-induced non-reciprocity: the transmission coefficients between two single-mode waveguides become dependent on the propagation directions only in the presence of the electrical drive. The contrast ratio between forward and backward directions exceeds 30dB in simulations. We experimentally observe a strong contrast (up to 3 dB) limited only by our electrical setup, for a continuous-wave (CW) optical signal. Importantly, the device is linear with respect to signal light. The observed contrast ratio is independent of the timing, the format, the amplitude and the phase of the input signal.
Synchronization, the emergence of spontaneous order in coupled systems, is of fundamental importance in both physical and biological systems. We demonstrate the synchronization of two dissimilar silicon nitride micromechanical oscillators, that are spaced apart by a few hundred nanometers and are coupled through optical radiation field. The tunability of the optical coupling between the oscillators enables one to externally control the dynamics and switch between coupled and individual oscillation states. These results pave a path towards reconfigurable massive synchronized oscillator networks.
We demonstrate a frequency comb spanning an octave via the parametric process of cascaded four-wave mixing in a monolithic, high-Q silicon nitride microring resonator. The comb is generated from a single-frequency pump laser at 1562 nm and spans 128 THz with a spacing of 226 GHz, which can be tuned slightly with the pump power. In addition, we investigate the RF amplitude noise characteristics of the parametric comb and find that the comb can operate in a low-noise state with a 30 dB reduction in noise as the pump frequency is tuned into the cavity resonance. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
Transformation optics allows the creation of innovative devices; however, its implementation in the optical domain remains challenging. We describe here our process to design and fabricate such devices using silicon as a platform for broad band operation in the optical domain. We discuss the approximations and methods employed to overcome the challenges of using dielectric materials as a platform for transformation optics, such as the anisotropy and gradient refractive index implementation. These encompass conformal and quasi-conformal mappings, and a dithering process to discretize and quantize the continuously inhomogeneous index function. We show examples of devices that we fabricated and tested, including the carpet invisibility cloak, a broad bandwidth light concentrator, and a perfect imaging device, known as Maxwell's fish eye lens. Finally, we touch on future directions under investigation to further develop transformation optics based on dielectric materials.
We propose and experimentally demonstrate for the first time a hybrid optical packet and wavelength selective switching platform for high-performance data center networks. This architecture based on cascaded silicon microrings and semiconductor optical amplifiers (SOAs) supports wavelength reconfigurable packet and circuit switching, and is highly scalable, energy efficient and potentially integratable. By combining the wavelength-selective behavior of the microring and the broadband behavior of the SOA switch, we are able to achieve fast switching transitions, high extinction ratios, and low driving voltages, which are all requirements for future optical high-performance data center networks. Routing correctness and error-free operation (<10(-12)) are verified for both 10-Gb/s and 40-Gb/s packets and streaming data with format transparency. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
We demonstrate broadband tuning of an optomechanical microcavity optical resonance by exploring the large optomechanical coupling of a double-wheel microcavity and its uniquely low mechanical stiffness. Using a pump laser with only 13 mW at telecom wavelengths we show tuning of the silicon nitride microcavity resonances over 32 nm. This corresponds to a tuning power efficiency of only 400 mu W/nm. By choosing a relatively low optical Q resonance (approximate to 18,000) we prevent the cavity from reaching the regime of regenerative optomechanical oscillations. The static mechanical displacement induced by optical gradient forces is estimated to be as large as 60 nm. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
We theoretically investigate a wavelength-selective all-optical switch using Raman-induced loss in a silicon resonator add-drop filter. We show that picojoule control pulses can selectively modulate and "erase" a single cavity resonance from full extinction to greater than 97% transmission while leaving adjacent resonances undisturbed. Full switching is achievable in less than 300 ps with only a few hundred femtojoule energy dissipation. This represents, to our knowledge, the first scheme for selective modulation of single resonances of an optical cavity.
We theoretically investigate a wavelength-selective all-optical switch using Raman-induced loss in a silicon resonator add-drop filter. We show that picojoule control pulses can selectively modulate and "erase" a single cavity resonance from full extinction to greater than 97% transmission while leaving adjacent resonances undisturbed. Full switching is achievable in less than 300 ps with only a few hundred femtojoule energy dissipation. This represents, to our knowledge, the first scheme for selective modulation of single resonances of an optical cavity. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
We experimentally show vertically stacked, multi-layer, low-temperature deposited photonics for integration on processed microelectronics. Waveguides, microrings, and crossings are fabricated out of 400 degrees C PECVD Si3N4 and SiO2 in a two layer configuration. Waveguide losses of similar to 1 dB/cm in the L-band are demonstrated using standard processing and without post-deposition annealing, along with vertically separated intersections showing -0.04 +/- 0.002 dB/cross. Finally 3D drop rings are shown with 25 GHz channels and 24 dB extinction ratio. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
We show that in high-index-contrast nanoscale waveguides counter propagating waves can posses distinct spatial near-field profiles. Using transmission-based near-field scanning optical microscopy (TraNSOM), we identify and map the unique near-field intensity distributions of these counter-propagating modes in a single-mode silicon waveguide. Based on this phenomenon, we design and simulate an integrated device 45 mu m in length that selectively attenuates reflected light with an insertion loss of -3.6 dB and an extinction of greater than -20 dB. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
We demonstrate photodiodes in deposited polycrystalline silicon at 1550 nm wavelength with 0.15 A/W responsivity, 40 nA dark current, and gigahertz time response. Subband absorption is mediated by defects that are naturally present in the polycrystalline material structure. The material exhibits a moderate absorption coefficient of 6 dB/cm, which allows the same microring resonator device to act as both a demultiplexing filter and a photodetector. We discuss the use of deposited silicon-based complementary metal-oxide semiconductor materials for nanophotonic interconnects. (C) 2010 Optical Society of America
We demonstrate broadband continuous wavelength conversion based on four-wave mixing in silicon waveguides, operating with data rates up to 40 Gb/s, validating signal integrity using bit-error-rate measurements. The dispersion-engineered silicon waveguide provides broad phase-matching bandwidth, enabling complete wavelength-conversion coverage of the S-, C-, and L-bands of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) grid. We experimentally show this with wavelength conversion of high-speed data exceeding 100 nm, and characterize the resulting power penalty induced by the wavelength conversion process. We then validate the bit-rate transparency of the all-optical process by scaling the data rate from 5 Gb/s up to 40 Gb/s at the 100-nm wavelength conversion configuration, showing consistent low power penalties, validating the robustness of the four-wave mixing process in the silicon platform for all-optical processing.
Stimulated emission from sensitized erbium ions in silicon-rich silicon nitride is demonstrated by pump-probe measurements carried out in waveguides. A decrease in the photoinduced absorption of the probe at the wavelength of erbium emission is observed and is attributed to stimulated emission from erbium excited indirectly via localized states in the silicon nitride matrix. (C) 2010 Optical Society of America
We measure optical absorption in color-producing enzymatic reactions for biochemical analysis with a microscale optofluidic device. Cavity-enhanced laser spectrophotometry is performed on analytes within a microfluidic channel at visible wavelengths with silicon nitride microring resonators of 100 mu m radius and quality factor of similar to 180,000. The resonator transmission spectrum is analyzed to determine optical absorption with a detection limit of 0.12 cm(-1). The device can be used to detect the activity of individual enzymes in a few minutes within a 100 fL sensing volume. The high sensitivity, small footprint, and low analyte consumption make absorption-based microring resonators attractive for lab-on-a-chip applications. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
We demonstrate high quality factor etchless silicon photonic ring resonators fabricated by selective thermal oxidation of silicon without the silicon layer being exposed to any plasma etching throughout the fabrication process. We achieve a high intrinsic quality factor of 510,000 in 50 mu m-radius ring resonators, corresponding to a ring loss of 0.8 dB/cm. The device has a total chip insertion loss of 2.5 dB, achieved by designing etchless silicon inverse nanotapers at both the input and output of the chip. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
We design, fabricate and characterize a CMOS-compatible, Mach-Zehnder-coupled, second-order-microring-resonator filter with large Free Spectral Range and demonstrate non-blocking thermo-optical filter reconfiguration. The device consists of 10-mu m radius silicon microring resonators, with an FSR equivalent to that of a structure consisting of 5-mu m radii microrings. The structure is reconfigurable over an 8.5 nm range without blocking other channels in the network. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
We demonstrate second-and third-harmonic generation in a centrosymmetric CMOS-compatible material using ring resonators and integrated optical waveguides. The chi((2)) response is induced by using the nanoscale structure of the waveguide to break the bulk symmetry of silicon nitride (Si3N4) with the silicon dioxide (SiO2) cladding. Using a high-Q ring resonator cavity to enhance the efficiency of the process, we detect the second-harmonic output in the visible wavelength range with milliwatt input powers at telecom wavelengths. We also observe third-harmonic generation from the intrinsic chi((3)) susceptibility of the silicon nitride. Phase matching of the harmonic processes occurs due to the near coincidence of indices of refraction of the fundamental mode at the pump frequency and the corresponding higher-order modes of the harmonic fields. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America
Gradient index structures are gaining increased importance with the constant development of Transformation Optics and metamaterials. Our ability to fabricate such devices, while limited, has already demonstrated the extensive capabilities of those designs, in the forms of invisibility devices, as well as illusion optics and super-lensing. In this paper we present a low loss, high index contrast lens that is integrated with conventional nanophotonic waveguides to provide improved tolerance in fiber-to-chip optical links for future communication networks. This demonstration represents a positive step in making the extraordinary capabilities of gradient index devices available for integrated optics. (C) 2011 Optical Society of America