Alignment-free cryogenic optical coupling to an optomechanical crystal

10 Apr 2019  ·  McKenna Timothy P., Patel Rishi N., Witmer Jeremy D., Van Laer Raphaël, Valery Joseph A., Safavi-Naeini Amir H. ·

The need for highly accurate, labor-intensive optical alignment has been a major hurdle in our ability to leverage the power of complex photonic integrated circuits. There is a strong need for tolerant and passive alignment methods that enable interrogation at any point in a photonic circuit... Various promising and scalable photonic packaging techniques have been under development, but few methods compatible with low-temperature operation have been reported. Here, we demonstrate alignment-free $25\%$ coupling efficiency from an optical fiber to a silicon optomechanical crystal at 7 mK in a dilution refrigerator. Our coupling scheme uses angle-polished fibers glued to the surface of the chip. The technique paves the way for scalable integration of optical technologies at low temperatures, circumventing the need for optical alignment in a highly constrained cryogenic environment. The technique is broadly applicable to studies of low-temperature optical physics and to emerging quantum photonic technologies. read more

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Optics Quantum Physics