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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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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Physical Review B (2019)
Nature Photonics (2019)
IEEE Transactions on Antennas and Propagation (2019)
Advanced Materials (2019)
Applied Physics Letters (2019)