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 on-chip dual combs. We report the simultaneous generation of two microresonator combs on the same chip from a single laser, drastically reducing experimental complexity. We demonstrate broadband optical spectra spanning 51 THz and low-noise operation of both combs by deterministically tuning into soliton mode-locked states using integrated microheaters, resulting in narrow (< 10 kHz) microwave beat notes. We further use one 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 high signal-to-noise ratio absorption spectroscopy spanning 170 nm using the dual-comb source over a 20-μs acquisition time. Our device paves the way for compact and robust spectrometers at nanosecond time scales enabled by large beat-note spacings (> 1 GHz).
We demonstrate the generation of counter-rotating cavity solitons in a silicon nitride microresonator using a fixed, single-frequency laser. We demonstrate a dual three-soliton state with a difference in the repetition rates of the soliton trains that can be tuned by varying the ratio of pump powers in the two directions. Such a system enables a highly compact, tunable dual comb source that can be used for applications such as spectroscopy and distance ranging.
Since the emergence of optical fiber communications, lithium niobate (LN) has been the material of choice for electro-optic modulators, featuring high data bandwidth and excellent signal fidelity. Conventional LN modulators however are bulky, expensive and power hungry, and cannot meet the growing demand in modern optical data links. Chip-scale, highly integrated, LN modulators could offer solutions to this problem, yet the fabrication of low-loss devices in LN thin films has been challenging. Here we overcome this hurdle and demonstrate monolithically integrated LN electro-optic modulators that are significantly smaller and more efficient than traditional bulk LN devices, while preserving LN’s excellent material properties. Our compact LN electro-optic platform consists of low-loss nanoscale LN waveguides, micro-ring resonators and miniaturized Mach-Zehnder interferometers, fabricated by directly shaping LN thin films into sub-wavelength structures. The efficient confinement of both optical and microwave fields at the nanoscale dramatically improves the device performances featuring a half-wave electro-optic modulation efficiency of 1.8 V∙cm while operating at data rates up to 40 Gbps. Our monolithic LN nanophotonic platform enables dense integration of high-performance active components, opening new avenues for future high-speed, low power and cost-effective communication networks.
Current silicon photonics phased arrays based on waveguide gratings enable beam steering with no moving parts. However, they suffer from a trade-off between beam divergence and field of view. Here, we show a platform based on silicon-nitride/silicon that achieves simultaneously minimal beam divergence and maximum field of view while maintaining performance that is robust to fabrication variations. In addition, in order to maximize the emission from the entire length of the grating, we design the grating's strength by varying its duty cycle (apodization) to emit uniformly. We fabricate a millimeter long grating emitter with diffraction-limited beam divergence of 0.089 degrees.