Publications by Year: 2017

2017
Compact narrow-linewidth integrated laser based on a low-loss silicon nitride ring resonator
Stern, Brian, Xingchen Ji, Avik Dutt, and Michal Lipson. “Compact narrow-linewidth integrated laser based on a low-loss silicon nitride ring resonator.” Optics Letters 42, no. 21 (2017): 4541-4544. Publisher's Version Abstract
We design and demonstrate a compact, narrow-linewidth integrated laser based on low-loss silicon nitride waveguides coupled to a III-V gain chip. By using a highly confined optical mode, we simultaneously achieve compact bends and ultra-low loss. We leverage the narrowband backreflection of a high-Q microring resonator to act as a cavity output mirror, a single-mode filter, and a propagation delay all in one. This configuration allows the ring to provide feedback and obtain a laser linewidth of 13 kHz with 1.7 mW output power around 1550 nm. This demonstration realizes a compact sub-millimeter silicon nitride laser cavity with a narrow linewidth.
compact_narrow_linewidth_laser.pdf
Lee, Brian S., Mian Zhang, Felippe A. S. Barbosa, Steven A. Miller, Aseema Mohanty, Raphael St-Gelais, and Michal Lipson. “On-chip thermo-optic tuning of suspended microresonators.” Opt. Express 25 (2017): 12109–12120. Publisher's Version Abstract
Suspended optical microresonators are promising devices for on-chip photonic applications such as radio-frequency oscillators, optical frequency combs, and sensors. Scaling up these devices demands the capability to tune the optical resonances in an integrated manner. Here, we design and experimentally demonstrate integrated on-chip thermo-optic tuning of suspended microresonators by utilizing suspended wire bridges and microheaters. We demonstrate the ability to tune the resonance of a suspended microresonator in silicon nitride platform by 9.7 GHz using 5.3 mW of heater power. The loaded optical quality factor (QL  92,000) stays constant throughout the detuning. We demonstrate the efficacy of our approach by completely turning on and off the optical coupling between two evanescently coupled suspended microresonators.
Yu, Mengjie, Jae K Jang, Yoshitomo Okawachi, Austin G Griffith, Kevin Luke, Steven A Miller, Xingchen Ji, Michal Lipson, and Alexander L Gaeta. “Breather soliton dynamics in microresonators.” Nature Communications 8 (2017): 14569. Publisher's Version Abstract
The generation of temporal cavity solitons in microresonators results in coherent low-noise optical frequency combs that are critical for applications in spectroscopy, astronomy, navigation or telecommunications. Breather solitons also form an important part of many different classes of nonlinear wave systems, manifesting themselves as a localized temporal structure that exhibits oscillatory behaviour. To date, the dynamics of breather solitons in microresonators remains largely unexplored, and its experimental characterization is challenging. Here we demonstrate the excitation of breather solitons in two different microresonator platforms based on silicon nitride and on silicon. We investigate the dependence of the breathing frequency on pump detuning and observe the transition from period-1 to period-2 oscillation. Our study constitutes a significant contribution to understanding the soliton dynamics within the larger context of nonlinear science.
yu_ncomms_breather_soliton.pdf
Miller, Steven A, Mengjie Yu, Xingchen Ji, Austin G Griffith, Jaime Cardenas, Alexander L Gaeta, and Michal Lipson. “Low-Loss Silicon Platform for Broadband Mid-Infrared Photonics.” arXiv:1703.03517 (2017). Publisher's Version Abstract
Broadband mid-infrared (mid-IR) spectroscopy applications could greatly benefit from today's well-developed, highly scalable silicon photonics technology; however, this platform lacks broadband transparency due to its reliance on absorptive silicon dioxide cladding. Alternative cladding materials have been studied, but the challenge lies in decreasing losses while avoiding complex fabrication techniques. Here, in contrast to traditional assumptions, we show that silicon photonics can achieve low-loss propagation in the mid-IR from 3 - 6 um wavelength, thus providing a highly scalable, well-developed technology in this spectral range. We engineer the waveguide cross section and optical mode interaction with the absorptive cladding oxide to reduce loss at mid-IR wavelengths. We fabricate a microring resonator and measure an intrinsic quality (Q) factor of 10^6 at wavelengths from 3.5 to 3.8 um. This is the highest Q demonstrated on an integrated mid-IR platform to date. With this high-Q silicon microresonator, we also demonstrate a low optical parametric oscillation threshold of 5.2 mW, illustrating the utility of this platform for nonlinear chip-scale applications in the mid-IR.
St-Gelais, R, GR Bhatt, L Zhu, S Fan, and M Lipson. “Hot Carrier-Based Near-Field Thermophotovoltaic Energy Conversion..” ACS nano (2017). Abstract
Near-field thermophotovoltaics (NFTPV) is a promising approach for direct conversion of heat to electrical power. This technology relies on the drastic enhancement of radiative heat transfer (compared to conventional blackbody radiation) that occurs when objects at different temperatures are brought to deep subwavelength distances (typically <100 nm) from each other. Achieving such radiative heat transfer between a hot object and a photovoltaic (PV) cell could allow direct conversion of heat to electricity with a greater efficiency than using current solid-state technologies (e.g., thermoelectric generators). One of the main challenges in the development of this technology, however, is its incompatibility with conventional silicon PV cells. Thermal radiation is weak at frequencies larger than the ∼1.1 eV bandgap of silicon, such that PV cells with lower excitation energies (typically 0.4–0.6 eV) are required for NFTPV. Using low bandgap III–V semiconductors to circumvent this limitation, as proposed in most theoretical works, is challenging and therefore has never been achieved experimentally. In this work, we show that hot carrier PV cells based on Schottky junctions between silicon and metallic films could provide an attractive solution for achieving high efficiency NFTPV electricity generation. Hot carrier science is currently an important field of research and several approaches are investigated for increasing the quantum efficiency (QE) of hot carrier generation beyond conventional Fowler model predictions. If the Fowler limit can indeed be overcome, we show that hot carrier-based NFTPV systems—after optimization of their thermal radiation spectrum—could allow electricity generation with up to 10–30% conversion efficiencies and 10–500 W/cm2generated power densities (at 900–1500 K temperatures). We also discuss how the unique properties of thermal radiation in the extreme near-field are especially well suited for investigating recently proposed approaches for high QE hot carrier junctions. We therefore expect our work to be of interest for the field of hot carrier science and—by relying solely on conventional thin film materials—to provide a path for the experimental demonstration of NFTPV energy conversion.
hot_carrier-based_near-field_thermophotovoltaic_energy_conversion.pdf
Wang, Cheng, Mian Zhang, Brian Stern, Michal Lipson, and Marko Loncar. “Nanophotonic Lithium Niobate Electro-optic Modulators.” arXiv 1701.06470 (2017). Publisher's Version Abstract
Modern communication networks require high performance and scalable electro-optic modulators that convert electrical signals to optical signals at high speed. Existing lithium niobate modulators have excellent performance but are bulky and prohibitively expensive to scale up. Here we demonstrate scalable and high-performance nanophotonic electro-optic modulators made of single-crystalline lithium niobate microring resonators and micro-Mach-Zehnder interferometers. We show a half-wave electro-optic modulation efficiency of 1.8V-cm and data rates up to 40 Gbps.
Ji, Xingchen, Felippe AS Barbosa, Samantha P Roberts, Avik Dutt, Jaime Cardenas, Yoshitomo Okawachi, Alex Bryant, Alexander L Gaeta, and Michal Lipson. “Ultra-low-loss on-chip resonators with sub-milliwatt parametric oscillation threshold.” Optica 4, no. 6 (2017): 619. Publisher's Version Abstract
On-chip optical resonators have the promise of revolutionizing numerous fields including metrology and sensing; however, their optical losses have always lagged behind their larger discrete resonator counterparts based on crystalline materials and flowable glass. Silicon nitride (Si3N4) ring resonators open up capabilities for optical routing, frequency comb generation, optical clocks and high precision sensing on an integrated platform. However, simultaneously achieving high quality factor and high confinement in Si3N4 (critical for nonlinear processes for example) remains a challenge. Here, we show that addressing surface roughness enables us to overcome the loss limitations and achieve high-confinement, on-chip ring resonators with a quality factor (Q) of 37 million for a ring with 2.5 {\mu}m width and 67 million for a ring with 10 {\mu}m width. We show a clear systematic path for achieving these high quality factors. Furthermore, we extract the loss limited by the material absorption in our films to be 0.13 dB/m, which corresponds to an absorption limited Q of at least 170 million by comparing two resonators with different degrees of confinement. Our work provides a chip-scale platform for applications such as ultra-low power frequency comb generation, high precision sensing, laser stabilization and sideband resolved optomechanics.
1609.08699.pdf optica-4-6-619.pdf
Quantum Interference between Transverse Spatial Waveguide Modes
Mohanty, Aseema, Mian Zhang, Avik Dutt, Sven Ramelow, Paulo Nussenzveig, and Michal Lipson. “Quantum Interference between Transverse Spatial Waveguide Modes.” Nature Communications 8 (2017): 14010. Publisher's Version Abstract
Integrated quantum optics has the potential to markedly reduce the footprint and resource requirements of quantum information processing systems, but its practical implementation demands broader utilization of the available degrees of freedom within the optical field. To date, integrated photonic quantum systems have primarily relied on path encoding. However, in the classical regime, the transverse spatial modes of a multi-mode waveguide have been easily manipulated using the waveguide geometry to densely encode information. Here, we demonstrate quantum interference between the transverse spatial modes within a single multi-mode waveguide using quantum circuit-building blocks. This work shows that spatial modes can be controlled to an unprecedented level and have the potential to enable practical and robust quantum information processing.
quantum_interference_between_transverse_spatial_waveguide_modes.pdf