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Title: Synchronous micromechanically resonant programmable photonic circuits

Programmable photonic integrated circuits (PICs) are emerging as powerful tools for control of light, with applications in quantum information processing, optical range finding, and artificial intelligence. Low-power implementations of these PICs involve micromechanical structures driven capacitively or piezoelectrically but are often limited in modulation bandwidth by mechanical resonances and high operating voltages. Here we introduce a synchronous, micromechanically resonant design architecture for programmable PICs and a proof-of-principle 1×8 photonic switch using piezoelectric optical phase shifters. Our design purposefully exploits high-frequency mechanical resonances and optically broadband components for larger modulation responses on the order of the mechanical quality factorQmwhile maintaining fast switching speeds. We experimentally show switching cycles of all 8 channels spaced by approximately 11 ns and operating at 4.6 dB average modulation enhancement. Future advances in micromechanical devices with highQm, which can exceed 10000, should enable an improved series of low-voltage and high-speed programmable PICs.

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Author(s) / Creator(s):
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Publisher / Repository:
Nature Publishing Group
Date Published:
Journal Name:
Nature Communications
Medium: X
Sponsoring Org:
National Science Foundation
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