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Broadband dispersion-engineered microresonator on a chip

Abstract

The control of dispersion in fibre optical waveguides is of critical importance to optical fibre communications systems1,2 and more recently for continuum generation from the ultraviolet to the mid-infrared3,4,5. The wavelength at which the group velocity dispersion crosses zero can be set by varying the fibre core diameter or index step2,6,7,8. Moreover, sophisticated methods to manipulate higher-order dispersion so as to shape and even flatten the dispersion over wide bandwidths are possible using multi-cladding fibres9,10,11. Here we introduce design and fabrication techniques that allow analogous dispersion control in chip-integrated optical microresonators, and thereby demonstrate higher-order, wide-bandwidth dispersion control over an octave of spectrum. Importantly, the fabrication method we employ for dispersion control simultaneously permits optical Q factors above 100 million, which is critical for the efficient operation of nonlinear optical oscillators. Dispersion control in high-Q systems has become of great importance in recent years with increased interest in chip-integrable optical frequency combs12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22,23,24,25,26,27,28,29,30,31,32.

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Figure 1: Fibre-inspired cavity dispersion design.
Figure 2: Microfabrication process flow and side-view micrographs.
Figure 3: Dispersion characterization.

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Acknowledgements

We gratefully acknowledge support from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under the QuASAR program, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, the Kavli Nanoscience Institute and the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter, an NSF Physics Frontiers Center with support of the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation. D.C.C. acknowledges support from the NSF GRFP under Grant No. DGE 1144083.

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Authors

Contributions

K.Y.Y. and K.J.V. conceived the experiments. K.Y.Y. and D.Y.O. performed the numerical simulations. K.Y.Y. developed the fabrication method with assistance from H.L. K.Y.Y., K.B., D.C.C., P.D., S.A.D., S.B.P. and K.J.V. designed and built the EOM comb-assisted dispersion measurement set-up. K.Y.Y., K.B., D.C.C., X.Y., P.D. and J.L. performed the dispersion measurement, and K.Y.Y., K.B., D.C.C., X.Y., P.D., J.L., S.A.D., S.B.P. and K.J.V. analysed the data. K.Y.Y. and K.J.V. prepared the manuscript with input from all co-authors.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Kerry J. Vahala.

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Yang, K., Beha, K., Cole, D. et al. Broadband dispersion-engineered microresonator on a chip. Nature Photon 10, 316–320 (2016). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2016.36

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