Publications

2017
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.
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
2016
Joshi, Chaitanya, Jae K. Jang, Kevin Luke, Xingchen Ji, Steven A. Miller, Alexander Klenner, Yoshitomo Okawachi, Michal Lipson, and Alexander L. Gaeta. “Thermally controlled comb generation and soliton modelocking in microresonators.” Opt. Lett. 41 (2016): 2565–2568. Publisher's Version Abstract
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.
thermally_controlled_comb_generation_and_soliton_modelocking_in_microresonators.pdf
Jang, Jae K., Yoshitomo Okawachi, Mengjie Yu, Kevin Luke, Xingchen Ji, Michal Lipson, and Alexander L. Gaeta. “Dynamics of mode-coupling-induced microresonator frequency combs in normal dispersion.” Optics Express 24, no. 25 (2016): 28794 - 28803. Publisher's Version Abstract
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.
Dutt, Avik, Chaitanya Joshi, Xingchen Ji, Jaime Cardenas, Yoshitomo Okawachi, Kevin Luke, Alexander L. Gaeta, and Michal Lipson. “On-chip dual comb source for spectroscopy.” arXiv:1611.07673 [physics] (2016). Publisher's Version Abstract
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.
dutt_2016_on-chip_dual_comb.pdf