The symmetry of crystalline silicon inhibits a second-order optical nonlinear susceptibility, χ(2), in complementary metal–oxide–semiconductor-compatible silicon photonic platforms. However, χ(2) is required for important processes such as phase-only modulation, second-harmonic generation (SHG) and sum/difference frequency generation. Here, we break the crystalline symmetry by applying direct-current fields across p–i–n junctions in silicon ridge waveguides and induce a χ(2) proportional to the large χ(3) of silicon. The obtained χ(2) is first used to perturb the permittivity (the direct-current Kerr effect) and achieve phase-only modulation. Second, the spatial distribution of χ(2) is altered by periodically patterning p–i–n junctions to quasi-phase-match pump and second-harmonic modes and realize SHG. We measure a maximum SHG efficiency of P2ω/Pω2 = 13 ± 0.5% W−1 at λω = 2.29 µm and with field-induced χ(2) = 41 ± 1.5 pm V–1. We expect such field-induced χ(2) in silicon to lead to a new class of complex integrated devices such as carrier-envelope offset frequency stabilizers, terahertz generators, optical parametric oscillators and chirp-free modulators.
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This work was supported by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office (MTO) E-PHI (HR0011-12-2-0007) and DODOS (HR0011-15-C-0056) projects. The authors thank programme managers J. Conway and R. Lutwak for support.
The authors declare no competing financial interests.
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Timurdogan, E., Poulton, C., Byrd, M. et al. Electric field-induced second-order nonlinear optical effects in silicon waveguides. Nature Photon 11, 200–206 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/nphoton.2017.14
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