We experimentally and theoretically investigate the dynamics of microresonator-based frequency comb generation assisted by mode coupling in the normal group-velocity dispersion (GVD) regime. We show that mode coupling can initiate intracavity modulation instability (MI) by directly perturbing the pump-resonance mode. We also observe the formation of a low-noise comb as the pump frequency is tuned further into resonance from the MI point. We determine the phase-matching conditions that accurately predict all the essential features of the MI and comb spectra, and extend the existing analogy between mode coupling and high-order dispersion to the normal GVD regime. We discuss the applicability of our analysis to the possibility of broadband comb generation in the normal GVD regime.
Mid-infrared (mid-IR) frequency combs have broad applications in molecular spectroscopy and chemical/biological sensing. Recently developed microresonator-based combs in this wavelength regime could enable portable and robust devices using a single-frequency pump field. Here, we demonstrate a mode-locked microresonator-based frequency comb in the mid-IR spanning 2.4–4.3 μm. We observe high pump-to-comb conversion efficiency, in which 40% of the pump power is converted to the output comb power. Utilizing an integrated PIN structure allows for tuning the silicon microresonator and controlling cavity soliton formation via free-carrier detection and control. Our results significantly advance microresonator-based comb technology toward a portable and robust mid-IR spectroscopic device that operates at low pump powers.
Dual-comb spectroscopy is a powerful technique for real-time, broadband optical sampling of molecular spectra which requires no moving components. Recent developments with microresonator-based platforms have enabled frequency combs at the chip scale. However, the need to precisely match the resonance wavelengths of distinct high-quality-factor microcavities has hindered the development of an on-chip dual comb source. Here, we report the first simultaneous generation of two microresonator combs on the same chip from a single laser. The combs span a broad bandwidth of 51 THz around a wavelength of 1.56 \$\textbackslashmu\$m. We demonstrate low-noise operation of both frequency combs by deterministically tuning into soliton mode-locked states using integrated microheaters, resulting in narrow (\$\textless\$ 10 kHz) microwave beatnotes. We further use one mode-locked comb as a reference to probe the formation dynamics of the other comb, thus introducing a technique to investigate comb evolution without auxiliary lasers or microwave oscillators. We demonstrate broadband high-SNR absorption spectroscopy of dichloromethane spanning 170 nm using the dual comb source over a 20 \$\textbackslashmu\$s acquisition time. Our device paves the way for compact and robust dual-comb spectrometers at nanosecond timescales.
On-chip spectroscopy that could realize real-time fingerprinting with label-free and high-throughput detection of trace molecules is one of the 'holy grails" of sensing. Such miniaturized spectrometers would greatly enable applications in chemistry, bio-medicine, material science or space instrumentation, such as hyperspectral microscopy of live cells or pharmaceutical quality control. Dual-comb spectroscopy (DCS), a recent technique of Fourier transform spectroscopy without moving parts, is particularly promising since it measures high-precision spectra in the gas phase using only a single detector. Here, we present a microresonator-based platform designed for mid-infrared (mid-IR) DCS. A single continuous-wave (CW) low-power pump source generates two mutually coherent mode-locked frequency combs spanning from 2.6 μm to 4.1 μm in two silicon micro-resonators. Thermal control and free-carrier injection control modelocking of each comb and tune the dual-comb parameters. The large line spacing of the combs (127 GHz) and its precise tuning over tens of MHz, unique features of chip-scale comb generators, are exploited for a proof-of-principle experiment of vibrational absorption DCS in the liquid phase, with spectra of acetone spanning from 2870 nm to 3170 nm at 127-GHz (4.2-cm−1) resolution. We take a significant step towards a broadband, mid-IR spectroscopy instrument on a chip. With further system development, our concept holds promise for real-time and time-resolved spectral acquisition on the nanosecond time scale.
We demonstrate an all-optical quantum random number generator using a dual-pumped degenerate optical parametric oscillator in a silicon nitride microresonator. The frequency-degenerate bi-phase state output is realized using parametric four-wave mixing in the normal group-velocity dispersion regime with two nondegenerate pumps. We achieve a random number generation rate of 2 MHz and verify the randomness of our output using the National Institute of Standards and Technology Statistical Test Suite. The scheme offers potential for a chip-scale random number generator with gigahertz generation rates and no postprocessing.
We demonstrate the first low-noise mid-IR frequency comb source using a silicon microresonator. Our observation of strong Raman scattering lines in the generated comb suggests that interplay between Raman and four-wave mixing plays a role in the generated low-noise state. In addition, we characterize, the intracavity comb generation dynamics using an integrated PIN diode, which takes advantage of the inherent three-photon absorption process in silicon.
We report, to the best of our knowledge, the first demonstration of thermally controlled soliton mode-locked frequency comb generation in microresonators. By controlling the electric current through heaters integrated with silicon nitride microresonators, we demonstrate a systematic and repeatable pathway to single- and multi-soliton mode-locked states without adjusting the pump laser wavelength. Such an approach could greatly simplify the generation of mode-locked frequency combs and facilitate applications such as chip-based dual-comb spectroscopy.
Silicon nitride (Si3N4) waveguides represent a novel photonic platform that is ideally suited for energy efficient and ultrabroadband nonlinear interactions from the visible to the mid-infrared. Chip-based supercontinuum generation in Si3N4 offers a path towards a fully-integrated and highly compact comb source for sensing and time-and-frequency metrology applications. We demonstrate the first successful frequency comb offset stabilization that utilizes a Si3N4 waveguide for octave-spanning supercontinuum generation and achieve the lowest integrated residual phase noise of any diode-pumped gigahertz laser comb to date. In addition, we perform a direct comparison to a standard silica photonic crystal fiber (PCF) using the same ultrafast solid-state laser oscillator operating at 1 &\#x00B5;m. We identify the minimal role of Raman scattering in Si3N4 as a key benefit that allows to overcome the fundamental limitations of silica fibers set by Raman-induced self-frequency shift.
Thermal radiation between parallel objects separated by deep subwavelength distances and subject to large thermal gradients (>100 K) can reach very high magnitudes, while being concentrated on a narrow frequency distribution. These unique characteristics could enable breakthrough technologies for thermal transport control and electricity generation (for example, by radiating heat exactly at the bandgap frequency of a photovoltaic cell). However, thermal transport in this regime has never been achieved experimentally due to the difficulty of maintaining large thermal gradients over nanometre-scale distances while avoiding other heat transfer mechanisms, namely conduction. Here, we show near-field radiative heat transfer between parallel SiC nanobeams in the deep subwavelength regime. The distance between the beams is controlled by a high-precision micro-electromechanical system (MEMS). We exploit the mechanical stability of nanobeams under high tensile stress to minimize thermal buckling effects, therefore keeping control of the nanometre-scale separation even at large thermal gradients. We achieve an enhancement of heat transfer of almost two orders of magnitude with respect to the far-field limit (corresponding to a 42 nm separation) and show that we can maintain a temperature gradient of 260 K between the cold and hot surfaces at ∼100 nm distance.
We demonstrate continuous tuning of the squeezing-level generated in a double-ring optical parametric oscillator by externally controlling the coupling condition using electrically controlled integrated microheaters. We accomplish this by utilizing the avoided crossing exhibited by a pair of coupled silicon nitride microring resonators. We directly detect a change in the squeezing level from 0.5 dB in the undercoupled regime to 2 dB in the overcoupled regime, which corresponds to a change in the generated on-chip squeezing factor from 0.9 to 3.9 dB. Such wide tunability in the squeezing level can be harnessed for on-chip quantum-enhanced sensing protocols that require an optimal degree of squeezing.