Letter | Published:

Complete optical isolation created by indirect interband photonic transitions

Nature Photonics volume 3, pages 9194 (2009) | Download Citation

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  • A Corrigendum to this article was published on 15 April 2009

This article has been updated

Abstract

Achieving on-chip optical signal isolation is a fundamental difficulty in integrated photonics1. The need to overcome this difficulty is becoming increasingly urgent, especially with the emergence of silicon nano-photonics2,3,4, which promises to create on-chip optical systems at an unprecedented scale of integration. Until now, there have been no techniques that provide complete on-chip signal isolation using materials or processes that are fundamentally compatible with silicon CMOS processes. Based on the effects of photonic transitions5,6, we show here that a linear, broadband and non-reciprocal isolation can be accomplished by spatial–temporal refractive index modulations that simultaneously impart frequency and wavevector shifts during the photonic transition process. We further show that a non-reciprocal effect can be accomplished in dynamically modulated micrometre-scale ring-resonator structures. This work demonstrates that on-chip isolation can be accomplished with dynamic photonic structures in standard material systems that are widely used for integrated optoelectronic applications.

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Change history

  • 15 April 2009

    In the version of this Letter originally published, equation (4) was incorrect, as was the final sentence in the third paragraph from the end of page 92. These errors have now been corrected in the HTML and PDF versions.

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Acknowledgements

This work was supported in part by the National Science Foundation (grant no. ECS-0622212). S.F. acknowledges discussions with Z. Wang and M. Soljacic. The computations were performed at the Pittsburgh Supercomputing Center and the National Center for Supercomputing Applications, through the support of the National Science Foundation TeraGrid programme.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Applied Physics, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA

    • Zongfu Yu
  2. Department of Electrical Engineering, Stanford University, Stanford, California 94305, USA

    • Shanhui Fan

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Correspondence to Shanhui Fan.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2008.273

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