Letter | Published:

Experimental realization of optomechanically induced non-reciprocity

Nature Photonics volume 10, pages 657661 (2016) | Download Citation

Abstract

Non-reciprocal devices, such as circulators and isolators, are indispensable components in classical and quantum information processing in integrated photonic circuits1. Aside from these applications, the non-reciprocal phase shift is of fundamental interest for exploring exotic topological photonics2, such as the realization of chiral edge states and topological protection3,4. However, incorporating low-optical-loss magnetic materials into a photonic chip is technically challenging5. In this study we experimentally demonstrate non-magnetic non-reciprocity using optomechanical interactions in a whispering gallery microresonator, as proposed in a previous work6. Optomechanically induced non-reciprocal transparency and amplification are observed and a non-reciprocal phase shift of up to 40° is also demonstrated. The underlying mechanism of optomechanically induced non-reciprocity has great potential for all-optical controllable isolators and circulators, as well as non-reciprocal phase shifters in integrated photonic chips.

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Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank H. Wang and X. Guo for discussions. The work was supported by the Ministry of Science and Technology of China (grant no. 2016YFA0301300), the Strategic Priority Research Program (B) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences (grant no. XDB01030200), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (grant no. 61308079, 61575184, 91536219 and 11474011), Anhui Provincial Natural Science Foundation (grant no. 1508085QA08) and the Fundamental Research Funds for the Central Universities.

Author information

Affiliations

  1. Key Laboratory of Quantum Information, Chinese Academy of Sciences, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei 230026, China

    • Zhen Shen
    • , Yan-Lei Zhang
    • , Yuan Chen
    • , Chang-Ling Zou
    • , Xu-Bo Zou
    • , Fang-Wen Sun
    • , Guang-Can Guo
    •  & Chun-Hua Dong
  2. Synergetic Innovation Center of Quantum Information and Quantum Physics, University of Science and Technology of China, Hefei, Anhui 230026, China

    • Zhen Shen
    • , Yan-Lei Zhang
    • , Yuan Chen
    • , Chang-Ling Zou
    • , Xu-Bo Zou
    • , Fang-Wen Sun
    • , Guang-Can Guo
    •  & Chun-Hua Dong
  3. Department of Electrical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06511, USA

    • Chang-Ling Zou
  4. State Key Laboratory for Mesoscopic Physics and School of Physics, Peking University, Beijing 100871, China

    • Yun-Feng Xiao

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Contributions

C.-H.D. and C.-L.Z conceived the experiments, Z.S., C.-H.D. and Y.C. prepared microsphere, built the experimental set-up and carried out measurements. Y.-L.Z and Z.S. performed the numerical simulation and analysed the data, Y.-F.X., X.-B.Z. and F.-W.S. provided theoretical support. C.-H.D. and C.-L.Z. wrote the manuscript with input from all co-authors. C.-H.D., C.-L.Z. and G.-C.G. supervised the project. All authors contributed extensively to the work presented in this Letter.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing financial interests.

Corresponding authors

Correspondence to Chang-Ling Zou or Chun-Hua Dong.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2016.161

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