Nonreciprocity and magnetic-free isolation based on optomechanical interactions.
ABSTRACT: Nonreciprocal components, such as isolators and circulators, provide highly desirable functionalities for optical circuitry. This motivates the active investigation of mechanisms that break reciprocity, and pose alternatives to magneto-optic effects in on-chip systems. In this work, we use optomechanical interactions to strongly break reciprocity in a compact system. We derive minimal requirements to create nonreciprocity in a wide class of systems that couple two optical modes to a mechanical mode, highlighting the importance of optically biasing the modes at a controlled phase difference. We realize these principles in a silica microtoroid optomechanical resonator and use quantitative heterodyne spectroscopy to demonstrate up to 10?dB optical isolation at telecom wavelengths. We show that nonreciprocal transmission is preserved for nondegenerate modes, and demonstrate nonreciprocal parametric amplification. These results open a route to exploiting various nonreciprocal effects in optomechanical systems in different electromagnetic and mechanical frequency regimes, including optomechanical metamaterials with topologically non-trivial properties.
Project description:Breaking the symmetry of electromagnetic wave propagation enables important technological functionality. In particular, circulators are nonreciprocal components that can route photons directionally in classical or quantum photonic circuits and offer prospects for fundamental research on electromagnetic transport. Developing highly efficient circulators thus presents an important challenge, especially to realise compact reconfigurable implementations that do not rely on magnetic fields to break reciprocity. We demonstrate optical circulation utilising radiation pressure interactions in an on-chip multimode optomechanical system. Mechanically mediated optical mode conversion in a silica microtoroid provides a synthetic gauge bias for light, enabling four-port circulation that exploits tailored interference between appropriate light paths. We identify two sideband conditions under which ideal circulation is approached. This allows to experimentally demonstrate ~10?dB isolation and <3?dB insertion loss in all relevant channels. We show the possibility of actively controlling the circulator properties, enabling ideal opportunities for reconfigurable integrated nanophotonic circuits.
Project description:Time reversal symmetry stands as a fundamental restriction on the vast majority of optical systems and devices. The reciprocal nature of Maxwell's equations in linear, time-invariant media adds complexity and scale to photonic diodes, isolators, circulators and also sets fundamental efficiency limits on optical energy conversion. Though many theoretical proposals and low frequency demonstrations of nonreciprocity exist, Faraday rotation remains the only known nonreciprocal mechanism that persists down to the atomic scale. Here, we present photon-spin-polarized stimulated Raman scattering as a new nonreciprocal optical phenomenon which has, in principle, no lower size limit. Exploiting this process, we numerically demonstrate nanoscale nonreciprocal transmission of free-space beams at near-infrared frequencies with a 250?nm thick silicon metasurface as well as a fully-subwavelength plasmonic gap nanoantenna. In revealing all-optical spin-splitting, our results provide a foundation for compact nonreciprocal communication and computing technologies, from nanoscale optical isolators and full-duplex nanoantennas to topologically-protected networks.
Project description:Nonreciprocal microwave devices are ubiquitous in radar and radio communication and indispensable in the readout chains of superconducting quantum circuits. Since they commonly rely on ferrite materials requiring large magnetic fields that make them bulky and lossy, there has been significant interest in magnetic-field-free on-chip alternatives, such as those recently implemented using the Josephson nonlinearity. Here, we realize reconfigurable nonreciprocal transmission between two microwave modes using purely optomechanical interactions in a superconducting electromechanical circuit. The scheme relies on the interference in two mechanical modes that mediate coupling between the microwave cavities and requires no magnetic field. We analyse the isolation, transmission and the noise properties of this nonreciprocal circuit. Finally, we show how quantum-limited circulators can be realized with the same principle. All-optomechanically mediated nonreciprocity demonstrated here can also be extended to directional amplifiers, and it forms the basis towards realizing topological states of light and sound.Nonreciprocal optical devices traditionally rely on magnetic fields and magnetic-free approaches are rather recent. Here, Bernier et al. propose and demonstrate a purely optomechanical circulator with reconfigurable transmission without the need for direct coupling between input and output modes.
Project description:Brillouin nonlinearities-which result from coupling between photons and acoustic phonons-are exceedingly weak in conventional nanophotonic silicon waveguides. Only recently have Brillouin interactions been transformed into the strongest and most tailorable nonlinear interactions in silicon using a new class of optomechanical waveguides that control both light and sound. In this paper, we use a multi-mode optomechanical waveguide to create stimulated Brillouin scattering between light-fields guided in distinct spatial modes of an integrated waveguide for the first time. This interaction, termed stimulated inter-modal Brillouin scattering, decouples Stokes and anti-Stokes processes to enable single-sideband amplification and dynamics that permit near-unity power conversion. Using integrated mode multiplexers to address separate optical modes, we show that circulators and narrowband filters are not necessary to separate pump and signal waves. We also demonstrate net optical amplification and Brillouin energy transfer as the basis for flexible on-chip light sources, amplifiers, nonreciprocal devices and signal-processing technologies.
Project description:We propose an all-optical integrated nonreciprocal device on the optomechanical platform with a large nonreciprocal bandwidth and low operating power. The device is based on an asymmetric silicon coupler consisting of two branches. One of them is a conventional strip waveguide fixed on the substrate, and the other is a freestanding nanostring suspended above a groove in the substrate. When light is launched into the coupler, the optical gradient force between the freestanding nanostring and the underlying substrate leads to the deflection of the nanostring, and finally results in destruction of the initial phase-matching condition between the two branches. The suspended branch would achieve distinct deflections when light is incident from different ports. The simulation results show a nonreciprocal bandwidth of 13.1 nm with operating power of 390 μW. With the advantages of simple structure, low power consumption and large operating bandwidth, our work provides a promising solution for on-chip passive nonreciprocal device.
Project description:Abstract Breaking Lorentz reciprocity is fundamental to an array of functional radiofrequency (RF) and optical devices, such as isolators and circulators. The application of external excitation, such as magnetic fields and spatial–temporal modulation, has been employed to achieve nonreciprocal responses. Alternatively, nonlinear effects may also be employed to break reciprocity in a completely passive fashion. Herein, a coupled system comprised of linear and nonlinear meta?atoms that achieves nonreciprocity based on the coupling and frequency detuning of its constituent meta?atoms is presented. An analytical model is developed based on the coupled mode theory (CMT) in order to design and optimize the nonreciprocal meta?atoms in this coupled system. Experimental demonstration of an RF isolator is performed, and the contrast between forward and backward propagation approximates 20 dB. Importantly, the use of the CMT model developed herein enables a generalizable capacity to predict the limitations of nonlinearity?based nonreciprocity, thereby facilitating the development of novel approaches to breaking Lorentz reciprocity. The CMT model and implementation scheme presented in this work may be deployed in a wide range of applications, including integrated photonic circuits, optical metamaterials, and metasurfaces, among others. Breaking Lorentz reciprocity is the foundation of an array of functional electromagnetic devices, and often requires external excitation. Magnetically coupled linear and nonlinear meta?atoms are experimentally employed to achieve giant and controllable nonreciprocity. The physics of such a passive and magnet?free nonreciprocal isolator are explored by using coupled mode theory for generalization of the presented approach.
Project description:Emerging photonic functionalities are mostly governed by the fundamental principle of Lorentz reciprocity. Lifting the constraints imposed by this principle could circumvent deleterious effects that limit the performance of photonic systems. Most efforts to date have been limited to waveguide platforms. Here, we propose and experimentally demonstrate a spatio-temporally modulated metasurface capable of complete violation of Lorentz reciprocity by reflecting an incident beam into far-field radiation in forward scattering, but into near-field surface waves in reverse scattering. These observations are shown both in nonreciprocal beam steering and nonreciprocal focusing. We also demonstrate nonreciprocal behavior of propagative-only waves in the frequency- and momentum-domains, and simultaneously in both. We develop a generalized Bloch-Floquet theory which offers physical insights into Lorentz nonreciprocity for arbitrary spatial phase gradients, and its predictions are in excellent agreement with experiments. Our work opens exciting opportunities in applications where free-space nonreciprocal wave propagation is desired.
Project description:Cavity optomechanical systems are being studied for their potential in areas such as metrology, communications, and quantum information science. For a number of recently proposed applications in which multiple optical and mechanical modes interact, an outstanding challenge is to develop multimode architectures that allow flexibility in the optical and mechanical sub-system designs while maintaining the strong interactions that have been demonstrated in single-mode systems. To that end, we demonstrate slot-mode optomechanical crystals, devices in which photonic and phononic crystal nanobeams separated by a narrow slot are coupled via optomechanical interactions. These nanobeam pairs are patterned to confine a mechanical breathing mode at the center of one beam and a low-loss optical mode in the slot between the beams. This architecture affords great design flexibility towards multimode optomechanics, as well as substantial optomechanical coupling rates. We show this by producing slot-mode devices in stoichiometric Si3N4, with optical modes in the 980 nm band coupled to mechanical modes at 3.4 GHz, 1.8 GHz, and 400 MHz. We exploit the Si3N4 tensile stress to achieve slot widths down to 24 nm, which leads to enhanced optomechanical coupling, sufficient for the observation of optomechanical self-oscillations at all studied frequencies. We then develop multimode optomechanical systems with triple-beam geometries, in which two optical modes couple to a single mechanical mode, and two mechanical modes couple to a single optical mode. Taken together, these results demonstrate great flexibility in the design of multimode chip-scale optomechanical systems with large optomechanical coupling.
Project description:Low-loss optical isolators and circulators are critical nonreciprocal components for signal routing and protection, but their chip-scale integration is not yet practical using standard photonics foundry processes. The significant challenges that confront integration of magneto-optic nonreciprocal systems on chip have made imperative the exploration of magnet free alternatives. However, none of these approaches have yet demonstrated linear optical isolation with ideal characteristics over a microscale footprint - simultaneously incorporating large contrast with ultralow forward loss - having fundamental compatibility with photonic integration in standard waveguide materials. Here we demonstrate that complete linear optical isolation can be obtained within any dielectric waveguide using only a whispering-gallery microresonator pumped by a single-frequency laser. The isolation originates from a nonreciprocal induced transparency based on a coherent light-sound interaction, with the coupling originating from the traveling-wave Brillouin scattering interaction, that breaks time-reversal symmetry within the waveguide-resonator system. Our result demonstrates that material-agnostic and wavelength-agnostic optical isolation is far more accessible for chip-scale photonics than previously thought.
Project description:Time-asymmetric state-evolution properties while encircling an exceptional point are presently of great interest in search of new principles for controlling atomic and optical systems. Here, we show that encircling-an-exceptional-point interactions that are essentially reciprocal in the linear interaction regime make a plausible nonlinear integrated optical device architecture highly nonreciprocal over an extremely broad spectrum. In the proposed strategy, we describe an experimentally realizable coupled-waveguide structure that supports an encircling-an-exceptional-point parametric evolution under the influence of a gain saturation nonlinearity. Using an intuitive time-dependent Hamiltonian and rigorous numerical computations, we demonstrate strictly nonreciprocal optical transmission with a forward-to-backward transmission ratio exceeding 10?dB and high forward transmission efficiency (?100%) persisting over an extremely broad bandwidth approaching 100?THz. This predicted performance strongly encourages experimental realization of the proposed concept to establish a practical on-chip optical nonreciprocal element for ultra-short laser pulses and broadband high-density optical signal processing.