Ultra-efficient frequency comb generation in AlGaAs-on-insulator microresonators

21 Sep 2019  ·  Chang Lin, Xie Weiqiang, Shu Haowen, Yang Qifan, Shen Boqiang, Boes Andreas, Peters Jon D., Jin Warren, Liu Songtao, Moille Gregory, Yu Su-Peng, Wang Xingjun, Srinivasan Kartik, Papp Scott B., Vahala Kerry, Bowers John E. ·

Recent advances in nonlinear optics have revolutionized the area of integrated photonics, providing on-chip solutions to a wide range of new applications. Currently, the state of the art integrated nonlinear photonic devices are mainly based on dielectric material platforms, such as Si3N4 and SiO2... While semiconductor materials hold much higher nonlinear coefficients and convenience in active integration, they suffered in the past from high waveguide losses that prevented the realization of highly efficient nonlinear processes on-chip. Here we challenge this status quo and demonstrate an ultra-low loss AlGaAs-on-insulator (AlGaAsOI) platform with anomalous dispersion and quality (Q) factors beyond 1.5*10^6. Such a high quality factor, combined with the high nonlinear coefficient and the small mode volume, enabled us to demonstrate a record low Kerr frequency comb generation threshold of ~36 uW for a resonator with a 1 THz free spectral range (FSR), ~100 times lower compared to that in previous semiconductor platform. Combs with >250 nm broad span have been generated under a pump power lower than the threshold power of state of the art dielectric micro combs. A soliton-step transition has also been observed for the first time from an AlGaAs resonator. This work is an important step towards ultra-efficient semiconductor-based nonlinear photonics and will lead to fully integrated nonlinear photonic integrated circuits (PICs) in near future. read more

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Optics Applied Physics