We propose an on-chip triply resonant electro-optic modulator architecture for RF-to-optical signal conversion and provide a detailed theoretical analysis of the optimal “circuit-level” device geometries and their performance limits. The designs maximize the RF-optical conversion efficiency through simultaneous resonant enhancement of the RF drive signal, a continuous-wave (CW) optical pump, and the generated optical sideband. The optical pump and sideband are resonantly enhanced in respective supermodes of a two-coupled-cavity optical resonator system, while the RF signal can be enhanced in addition by an LC circuit formed by capacitances of the optical resonator active regions and (integrated) matching inductors. We show that such designs can offer 15-50 dB improvement in conversion efficiency over conventional microring modulators. In the proposed configurations, the photon lifetime (resonance linewidth) limits the instantaneous RF bandwidth of the electro-optic response but does not limit its central RF frequency. The latter is set by the coupling strength between the two coupled cavities and is not subject to the photon lifetime constraint inherent to conventional singly resonant microring modulators. This feature enables efficient operation at high RF carrier frequencies without a reduction in efficiency commonly associated with the photon lifetime limit and accounts for 10-30 dB of the total improvement. Two optical configurations of the modulator are proposed: a “basic” configuration with equal Q-factors in both supermodes, most suitable for narrowband RF signals, and a “generalized” configuration with independently tailored supermode Q-factors that supports a wider instantaneous bandwidth. A second significant 5-20 dB gain in modulation efficiency is expected from RF drive signal enhancement by integrated LC resonant matching, leading to the total expected improvement of 15-50 dB. Previously studied triply-resonant modulators, with coupled longitudinal (across the free spectral range (FSR)) modes, have large resonant mode volume for typical RF frequencies, which limits the interaction between the optical and RF fields. In contrast, the proposed modulators support maximally tightly confined resonant modes, with strong coupling between the mode fields, which increases and maintains high device efficiency across a range of RF frequencies. The proposed modulator architecture is compact, efficient, capable of modulation at high RF carrier frequencies and can be applied to any cavity design or modulation mechanism. It is also well suited to moderate Q, including silicon, implementations, and may be enabling for future CMOS RF-electronic-photonic systems on chip.
Lithium niobate (LN), possessing wide transparent window, strong electro-optic effect, and large optical nonlinearity, is an ideal material platform for integrated photonics application. Microring resonators are particularly suitable as integrated photonic components, given their flexibility of device engineering and their potential for large-scale integration. However, the susceptibility to temperature fluctuation has become a major challenge for their implementation in a practical environment. Here, we demonstrate an athermal LN microring resonator. By cladding an x-cut LN microring resonator with a thin layer of titanium oxide, we are able to completely eliminate the first-order thermo-optic coefficient (TOC) of cavity resonance right at room temperature (20°C), leaving only a small residual quadratic temperature dependence with a second-order TOC of only 0.37 pm/K2. It corresponds to a temperature-induced resonance wavelength shift within 0.33 nm over a large operating temperature range of (−10 – 50)°C that is one order of magnitude smaller than a bare LN microring resonator. Moreover, the TiO2-cladded LN microring resonator is able to preserve high optical quality, with an intrinsic optical Q of 5.8 × 105that is only about 11% smaller than that of a bare LN resonator. The flexibility of thermo-optic engineering, high optical quality, and device fabrication compatibility show great promise of athermal LN/TiO2hybrid devices for practical applications, elevating the potential importance of LN photonic integrated circuits for future communication, sensing, nonlinear and quantum photonics.more » « less
- NSF-PAR ID:
- Publisher / Repository:
- Optical Society of America
- Date Published:
- Journal Name:
- Optics Express
- 1094-4087; OPEXFF
- Page Range / eLocation ID:
- Article No. 21682
- Medium: X
- Sponsoring Org:
- National Science Foundation
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Materials with strong second-order (
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