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  1. Abstract

    Second-order nonlinear optical processes convert light from one wavelength to another and generate quantum entanglement. Creating chip-scale devices to efficiently control these interactions greatly increases the reach of photonics. Existing silicon-based photonic circuits utilize the third-order optical nonlinearity, but an analogous integrated platform for second-order nonlinear optics remains an outstanding challenge. Here we demonstrate efficient frequency doubling and parametric oscillation with a threshold of tens of micro-watts in an integrated thin-film lithium niobate photonic circuit. We achieve degenerate and non-degenerate operation of the parametric oscillator at room temperature and tune its emission over one terahertz by varying the pump frequency by hundreds of megahertz. Finally, we observe cascaded second-order processes that result in parametric oscillation. These resonant second-order nonlinear circuits will form a crucial part of the emerging nonlinear and quantum photonics platforms.

  2. High-gain optical parametric amplification is an important nonlinear process used both as a source of coherent infrared light and as a source of nonclassical light. In this work, we experimentally demonstrate an approach to optical parametric amplification that enables extremely large parametric gains with low energy requirements. In conventional nonlinear media driven by femtosecond pulses, multiple dispersion orders limit the effective interaction length available for parametric amplification. Here, we use the dispersion engineering available in periodically poled thin-film lithium niobate nanowaveguides to eliminate several dispersion orders at once. The result is a quasi-static process; the large peak intensity associated with a short pump pulse can provide gain to signal photons without undergoing pulse distortion or temporal walk-off. We characterize the parametric gain available in these waveguides using optical parametric generation, where vacuum fluctuations are amplified to macroscopic intensities. In the unsaturated regime, we observe parametric gains as large as 71 dB (118 dB/cm) spanning 1700–2700 nm with pump energies of only 4 pJ. When driven with pulse energies><#comment/>10pJ, we observe saturated parametric gains as large as 88 dB (><#comment/>146dB/cm). The devices shown heremore »achieve saturated optical parametric generation with orders of magnitude less pulse energy than previous techniques.

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  3. We discuss wavelength conversion of a selected signal spatial mode, which preserves its quantum state and does not disturb other signal spatial modes. We present the results for a lithium niobate waveguide and a few-mode-fiber.
  4. Glasses are nonequilibrium solids with properties highly dependent on their method of preparation. In vapor-deposited molecular glasses, structural organization could be readily tuned with deposition rate and substrate temperature. Here, we show that the atomic arrangement of strong network-forming GeO 2 glass is modified at medium range (<2 nm) through vapor deposition at elevated temperatures. Raman spectral signatures distinctively show that the population of six-membered GeO 4 rings increases at elevated substrate temperatures. Deposition near the glass transition temperature is more efficient than postgrowth annealing in modifying atomic structure at medium range. The enhanced medium-range organization correlates with reduction of the room temperature internal friction. Identifying the microscopic origin of room temperature internal friction in amorphous oxides is paramount to design the next-generation interference coatings for mirrors of the end test masses of gravitational wave interferometers, in which the room temperature internal friction is a main source of noise limiting their sensitivity.
  5. Silicon carbide (SiC) is rapidly emerging as a leading platform for the implementation of nonlinear and quantum photonics. Here, we find that commercial SiC, which hosts a variety of spin qubits, possesses low optical absorption that can enable SiC integrated photonics with quality factors exceeding107. We fabricate multimode microring resonators with quality factors as high as 1.1 million, and observe low-threshold (8.5±<#comment/>0.5mW) optical parametric oscillation using the fundamental mode as well as optical microcombs spanning 200 nm using a higher-order mode. Our demonstration is an essential milestone in the development of photonic devices that harness the unique optical properties of SiC, paving the way toward the monolithic integration of nonlinear photonics with spin-based quantum technologies.

  6. The exceptional stability required from high finesse optical cavities and high precision interferometers is fundamentally limited by Brownian motion noise in the interference coatings of the cavity mirrors. In amorphous oxide coatings these thermally driven fluctuations are dominant in the high index layer compared to those in the low index SiO2layer in the stack. We present a systematic study of the evolution of the structural and optical properties of ion beam sputtered TiO2-doped Ta2O5films with annealing temperature. We show that low mechanical loss in TiO2-doped Ta2O5with a Ti cation ratio = 0.27 is associated with a material that consists of a homogeneous titanium-tantalum-oxygen mixture containing a low density of nanometer sized Ar-filled voids. When the Ti cation ratio is 0.53, phase separation occurs leading to increased mechanical loss. These results suggest that amorphous mixed oxides with low mechanical loss could be identified by considering the thermodynamics of ternary phase formation.