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Title: Electro-optic transduction in silicon via gigahertz-frequency nanomechanics

Interfacing electronics with optical fiber networks is key to the long-distance transfer of classical and quantum information. Piezo-optomechanical transducers enable such interfaces by using gigahertz-frequency acoustic vibrations as mediators for converting microwave photons to optical photons via the combination of optomechanical and piezoelectric interactions. However, despite successful demonstrations, efficient quantum transduction remains out of reach due to the challenges associated with hybrid material integration and increased loss from piezoelectric materials when operating in the quantum regime. Here, we demonstrate an alternative approach in which we actuate 5-GHz phonons in a conventional silicon-on-insulator platform. In our experiment, microwave photons resonantly drive a phononic crystal oscillator via the electrostatic force realized in a charge-biased narrow-gap capacitor. The mechanical vibrations are subsequently transferred via a phonon waveguide to an optomechanical cavity, where they transform into optical photons in the sideband of a pump laser field. Operating at room temperature and atmospheric pressure, we measure a microwave-to-optical photon conversion efficiency of 1.72±0.14×10−7in a 3.3 MHz bandwidth. Our results mark a stepping stone towards quantum transduction with integrated devices made from crystalline silicon, which promise efficient high-bandwidth operation and integration with superconducting qubits. Additionally, the lack of need for piezoelectricity or other intrinsic nonlinearities makes our approach applicable to a wide range of materials for potential applications beyond quantum technologies.

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Publisher / Repository:
Optical Society of America
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Article No. 790
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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