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  1. Integrated photonics at near-IR (NIR) wavelengths currently lacks high bandwidth and low-voltage modulators, which add electro-optic functionality to passive circuits. Here, integrated hybrid thin-film lithium niobate (TFLN) electro-optic Mach–Zehnder modulators (MZM) are shown, using TFLN bonded to planarized silicon nitride waveguides. The design does not require TFLN etching or patterning. The push–pull MZM achieves a half-wave voltage length product (VπL) of 0.8 at 784 nm. MZM devices with 0.4 cm and 0.8 cm modulation length show a broadband electro-optic response with a 3 dB bandwidth beyond 100 GHz, with the latter showing a record bandwidth to half-wave voltage ratio of 100 GHz/V and a high extinction ratio exceeding 30 dB. Such fully integrated high-performance NIR electro-optic devices may benefit data communications, analog signal processing, test and measurement instrumentation, quantum information processing and other applications.

  2. Strategies for improved fabrication of integrated thin-film lithium niobate electro-optic (EO) Mach–Zehnder modulators (MZMs) are reported using scalable processes and designs. The MZM devices utilize direct bonding of unetched and unpatterned thin-film lithium niobate to patterned and planarized silicon photonic microchips. The latter contains silicon nitride waveguide structures of various widths that are used to form hybrid modes that are suitable for high-bandwidth low-voltage EO modulators based on Pockels effect. We report that the incorporation of appropriately designed outgassing channels and certain modifications to key processing steps helped achieve a greater than 99% reduction in void density during bonding. Void reduction is critically important for these traveling-wave hybrid MZM devices in which the optical mode is controllably distributed between multiple thin layers and propagates over millimeter-scale lengths.

    Free, publicly-accessible full text available February 27, 2024
  3. Nonlinear and quantum optical devices based on periodically-poled thin film lithium niobate (PP-TFLN) have gained considerable interest lately, due to their significantly improved performance as compared to their bulk counterparts. Nevertheless, performance parameters such as conversion efficiency, minimum pump power, and spectral bandwidth strongly depend on the quality of the domain structure in these PP-TFLN samples, e.g., their homogeneity and duty cycle, as well as on the overlap and penetration depth of domains with the waveguide mode. Hence, in order to propose improved fabrication protocols, a profound quality control of domain structures is needed that allows quantifying and thoroughly analyzing these parameters. In this paper, we propose to combine a set of nanometer-to-micrometer-scale imaging techniques, i.e., piezoresponse force microscopy (PFM), second-harmonic generation (SHG), and Raman spectroscopy (RS), to access the relevant and crucial sample properties through cross-correlating these methods. Based on our findings, we designate SHG to be the best-suited standard imaging technique for this purpose, in particular when investigating the domain poling process in x-cut TFLNs. While PFM is excellently recommended for near-surface high-resolution imaging, RS provides thorough insights into stress and/or defect distributions, as associated with these domain structures. In this context, our work here indicates unexpectedly largemore »signs for internal fields occurring in x-cut PP-TFLNs that are substantially larger as compared to previous observations in bulk LN.« less
  4. We demonstrate a technique for measuring the full-speed performance of integrated modulators from ultraweak surface-coupled and scattered light. This can enable rapid characterization of unpackaged, high-speed wafer-scale integrated photonics without test ports or special fabrication.
  5. High-fidelity periodic poling over long lengths is required for robust, quasi-phase-matched second-harmonic generation using the fundamental, quasi-TE polarized waveguide modes in a thin-film lithium niobate (TFLN) waveguide. Here, a shallow-etched ridge waveguide is fabricated in x-cut magnesium oxide doped TFLN and is poled accurately over 5 mm. The high fidelity of the poling is demonstrated over long lengths using a non-destructive technique of confocal scanning second-harmonic microscopy. We report a second-harmonic conversion efficiency of up to 939 %.W−1(length-normalized conversion efficiency 3757 %.W−−2), measured at telecommunications wavelengths. The device demonstrates a narrow spectral linewidth (1 nm) and can be tuned precisely with a tuning characteristic of 0.1 nm/°C, over at least 40 °C without measurable loss of efficiency.

  6. Photon-pair generation is shown using periodically-poled thin-film lithium niobate waveguides, with coincidences-to-accidentals ratio CAR>67,000 at 41kHz pairs rate, and heralded single-photon generation with g(2)(0)<0.05 at 860kHz herald rate.