Letter | Published:

Spectrotemporal shaping of itinerant photons via distributed nanomechanics

Nature Photonics (2019) | Download Citation

Abstract

Efficient phase manipulation of light is the cornerstone of many advanced photonic applications1,2,3,4. However, the pursuit of compact, broadband and deep phase control of light has been hindered by the finite nonlinearity of the optical materials available for integrated photonics5,6. Here, we propose a dynamically driven photonic structure for deep phase manipulation and coherent spectrotemporal control of light based on distributed nanomechanics. We experimentally demonstrate the quasi-phase-matched interaction between stationary mechanical vibration and itinerant optical fields, which is used to generate an on-chip modulated frequency comb over 1.15 THz (160 lines), corresponding to a phase modulation depth of over 21.6π. In addition, an optical time-lens effect induced by mechanical vibration is realized, leading to optical pulse compression of over 70-fold to obtain a minimum pulse duration of 1.02 ps. The high efficiency and versatility make such mechanically driven dynamic photonic structures ideal for realizing complex optical control schemes, such as lossless non-reciprocity7, frequency division optical communication1 and optical frequency comb division8.

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The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request.

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Acknowledgements

We acknowledge funding support from an LPS/ARO grant (W911NF-14-1-0563), an AFOSR MURI grant (FA9550-15-1-0029), a NSF EFRI grant (EFMA-1640959) and the DARPA SCOUT programme, as well as the Packard Foundation. The facilities used were supported by Yale Institute for Nanoscience and Quantum Engineering and NSF MRSEC DMR 1119826. We thank L. Jiang for discussions, and M. Power, M. Rooks and L. Frunzio for assistance with device fabrication.

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Affiliations

  1. Department of Electrical Engineering, Yale University, New Haven, CT, USA

    • Linran Fan
    • , Chang-Ling Zou
    • , Na Zhu
    •  & Hong X. Tang

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Contributions

H.X.T., L.F. and C.-L.Z. conceived the experiment. L.F. fabricated the device. N.Z. fabricated the 3D cavity. L.F. and N.Z. performed the experiment. L.F. and C.-L.Z. analysed the data. All authors contributed to writing the manuscript. H.X.T. supervised the work.

Competing interests

The authors declare no competing interests.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Hong X. Tang.

Supplementary information

  1. Supplementary Information

    Supplementary theory and discussion, Supplementary Figures 1–4 and Supplementary References 1–4.

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DOI

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41566-019-0375-9