Contents
2022
Volume: 4 Issue 3
9 Article(s)

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Reviews
Applications of thin-film lithium niobate in nonlinear integrated photonics
Milad Gholipour Vazimali, and Sasan Fathpour
Photonics on thin-film lithium niobate (TFLN) has emerged as one of the most pursued disciplines within integrated optics. Ultracompact and low-loss optical waveguides and related devices on this modern material platform have rejuvenated the traditional and commercial applications of lithium niobate for optical modulators based on the electro-optic effect, as well as optical wavelength converters based on second-order nonlinear effects, e.g., second-harmonic, sum-, and difference-frequency generations. TFLN has also created vast opportunities for applications and integrated solutions for optical parametric amplification and oscillation, cascaded nonlinear effects, such as low-harmonic generation; third-order nonlinear effects, such as supercontinuum generation; optical frequency comb generation and stabilization; and nonclassical nonlinear effects, such as spontaneous parametric downconversion for quantum optics. Recent progress in nonlinear integrated photonics on TFLN for all these applications, their current trends, and future opportunities and challenges are reviewed.
Advanced Photonics
  • Publication Date: May. 30, 2022
  • Vol. 4 Issue 3 034001 (2022)
Three-dimensional direct laser writing of biomimetic neuron interfaces in the era of artificial intelligence: principles, materials, and applications
Haoyi Yu, Qiming Zhang, Xi Chen, Haitao Luan, and Min Gu
The creation of biomimetic neuron interfaces (BNIs) has become imperative for different research fields from neural science to artificial intelligence. BNIs are two-dimensional or three-dimensional (3D) artificial interfaces mimicking the geometrical and functional characteristics of biological neural networks to rebuild, understand, and improve neuronal functions. The study of BNI holds the key for curing neuron disorder diseases and creating innovative artificial neural networks (ANNs). To achieve these goals, 3D direct laser writing (DLW) has proven to be a powerful method for BNI with complex geometries. However, the need for scaled-up, high speed fabrication of BNI demands the integration of DLW techniques with ANNs. ANNs, computing algorithms inspired by biological neurons, have shown their unprecedented ability to improve efficiency in data processing. The integration of ANNs and DLW techniques promises an innovative pathway for efficient fabrication of large-scale BNI and can also inspire the design and optimization of novel BNI for ANNs. This perspective reviews advances in DLW of BNI and discusses the role of ANNs in the design and fabrication of BNI.
Advanced Photonics
  • Publication Date: Jun. 07, 2022
  • Vol. 4 Issue 3 034002 (2022)
Advances in lithium niobate photonics: development status and perspectives | Article Video
Guanyu Chen, Nanxi Li, Jun Da Ng, Hong-Lin Lin, Yanyan Zhou, Yuan Hsing Fu, Lennon Yao Ting Lee, Yu Yu, Ai-Qun Liu, and Aaron J. Danner
Lithium niobate (LN) has experienced significant developments during past decades due to its versatile properties, especially its large electro-optic (EO) coefficient. For example, bulk LN-based modulators with high speeds and a superior linearity are widely used in typical fiber-optic communication systems. However, with ever-increasing demands for signal transmission capacity, the high power and large size of bulk LN-based devices pose great challenges, especially when one of its counterparts, integrated silicon photonics, has experienced dramatic developments in recent decades. Not long ago, high-quality thin-film LN on insulator (LNOI) became commercially available, which has paved the way for integrated LN photonics and opened a hot research area of LN photonics devices. LNOI allows a large refractive index contrast, thus light can be confined within a more compact structure. Together with other properties of LN, such as nonlinear/acousto-optic/pyroelectric effects, various kinds of high-performance integrated LN devices can be demonstrated. A comprehensive summary of advances in LN photonics is provided. As LN photonics has experienced several decades of development, our review includes some of the typical bulk LN devices as well as recently developed thin film LN devices. In this way, readers may be inspired by a complete picture of the evolution of this technology. We first introduce the basic material properties of LN and several key processing technologies for fabricating photonics devices. After that, various kinds of functional devices based on different effects are summarized. Finally, we give a short summary and perspective of LN photonics. We hope this review can give readers more insight into recent advances in LN photonics and contribute to the further development of LN related research.
Advanced Photonics
  • Publication Date: Jun. 08, 2022
  • Vol. 4 Issue 3 034003 (2022)
Letters
Ultrafast and real-time physical random bit extraction with all-optical quantization
Ya Guo, Qiang Cai, Pu Li, Ruonan Zhang, Bingjie Xu, K. Alan Shore, and Yuncai Wang
Optical chaos generated by perturbing semiconductor lasers has been viewed, over recent decades, as an excellent entropy source for fast physical random bit generation (RBG) owing to its high bandwidth and large random fluctuations. However, most optical-chaos-based random bit generators perform their quantization process in the electrical domain using electrical analog-to-digital converters, so their real-time rates in a single channel are severely limited at the level of Gb/s due to the electronic bottleneck. Here, we propose and experimentally demonstrate an all-optical method for RBG where chaotic pulses are quantized into a physical random bit stream in the all-optical domain by means of a length of highly nonlinear fiber. In our proof-of-concept experiment, a 10-Gb/s random bit stream is successfully generated on-line using our method. Note that the single-channel real-time rate is limited only by the chaos bandwidth. Considering that the Kerr nonlinearity of silica fiber with an ultrafast response of few femtoseconds is exploited for composing the key part of quantizing laser chaos, this scheme thus may operate potentially at much higher real-time rates than 100 Gb/s provided that a chaotic entropy source of sufficient bandwidth is available.
Advanced Photonics
  • Publication Date: May. 02, 2022
  • Vol. 4 Issue 3 035001 (2022)
Organic room-temperature phosphorescent polymers for efficient X-ray scintillation and imaging | Article Video
Juan Wei, Yangyang Jiang, Chenyuan Liu, Jiayu Duan, Shanying Liu, Xiangmei Liu, Shujuan Liu, Yun Ma, and Qiang Zhao
Materials that exhibit visible luminescence upon X-ray irradiation show great potential in the medical and industrial fields. Pure organic materials have recently emerged as promising scintillators for X-ray detection and radiography, due to their diversified design, low cost, and facile preparation. However, recent progress in efficient radioluminescence has mainly focused on small molecules, which are inevitably associated with processability and repeatability issues. Here, a concise strategy is proposed to prepare radioluminescent polymers that exhibit multiple emission colors from blue to yellow with high brightness in an amorphous state by the radical copolymerization of negatively charged polyacrylic acid and different positively charged quaternary phosphonium salts. One of the obtained polymers exhibits excellent photostability under a high X-ray irradiation dosage of 27.35 Gy and has a detection limit of 149 nGy s - 1. This performance is superior to that of conventional anthracene-based scintillators. Furthermore, by simply drop-casting a polymer methanol solution on a quartz plate, a transparent scintillator screen was successfully fabricated for X-ray imaging with a resolution of 8.7 line pairs mm - 1. The pure organic phosphorescent polymers with a highly efficient radioluminescence were demonstrated for the first time, and the strategy reported herein offers a promising pathway to expand the application range of amorphous organic scintillators.
Advanced Photonics
  • Publication Date: May. 17, 2022
  • Vol. 4 Issue 3 035002 (2022)
Experimental verification of ill-defined topologies and energy sinks in electromagnetic continua
David E. Fernandes, Ricardo A. M. Pereira, Sylvain Lannebère, Tiago A. Morgado, and Mário G. Silveirinha
It is experimentally verified that nonreciprocal photonic systems with continuous translation symmetry may have an ill-defined topology. The topological classification of such systems is only feasible when the material response is regularized with a spatial-frequency cutoff. We experimentally demonstrate that adjoining a small air layer to the relevant material interface may effectively imitate an idealized spatial cutoff that suppresses the nonreciprocal response for short wavelengths and regularizes the topology. Furthermore, it is experimentally verified that nonreciprocal systems with an ill-defined topology may be used to abruptly halt the energy flow in a unidirectional waveguide due to the violation of the bulk-edge correspondence. In particular, we report the formation of an energy sink that absorbs the incoming electromagnetic waves with a large field enhancement at the singularity.
Advanced Photonics
  • Publication Date: May. 23, 2022
  • Vol. 4 Issue 3 035003 (2022)
Research Articles
Electro-optic tuning of a single-frequency ultranarrow linewidth microdisk laser
Jintian Lin, Saeed Farajollahi, Zhiwei Fang, Ni Yao, Renhong Gao, Jianglin Guan, Li Deng, Tao Lu, Min Wang, Haisu Zhang, Wei Fang, Lingling Qiao, and Ya Cheng
Single-frequency ultranarrow linewidth on-chip microlasers with a fast wavelength tunability play a game-changing role in a broad spectrum of applications ranging from coherent communication, light detection and ranging, to metrology and sensing. Design and fabrication of such light sources remain a challenge due to the difficulties in making a laser cavity that has an ultrahigh optical quality (Q) factor and supports only a single lasing frequency simultaneously. Here, we demonstrate a unique single-frequency ultranarrow linewidth lasing mechanism on an erbium ion-doped lithium niobate (LN) microdisk through simultaneous excitation of high-Q polygon modes at both pump and laser wavelengths. As the polygon modes are sparse within the optical gain bandwidth compared with the whispering gallery mode counterpart, while their Q factors (above 10 million) are even higher due to the significantly reduced scattering on their propagation paths, single-frequency lasing with a linewidth as narrow as 322 Hz is observed. The measured linewidth is three orders of magnitude narrower than the previous record in on-chip LN microlasers. Finally, enabled by the strong linear electro-optic effect of LN, real-time electro-optical tuning of the microlaser with a high tuning efficiency of ∼50 pm / 100 V is demonstrated.
Advanced Photonics
  • Publication Date: May. 03, 2022
  • Vol. 4 Issue 3 036001 (2022)
Observation of flat-band and band transition in the synthetic space | Article Video
Guangzhen Li, Luojia Wang, Rui Ye, Shijie Liu, Yuanlin Zheng, Luqi Yuan, and Xianfeng Chen
Constructions of synthetic lattices in modulated ring resonators attract growing attention to interesting physics beyond the geometric dimensionality, where complicated connectivities between resonant frequency modes are explored in many theoretical proposals. We implement experimental demonstration of generating a stub lattice along the frequency axis of light, in two coupled ring resonators of different lengths, with the longer one dynamically modulated. Such a synthetic photonic structure intrinsically exhibits the physics of flat band. We show that the time-resolved band structure read-out from the drop-port output of the excited ring is the intensity projection of the band structure onto a specific resonant mode in the synthetic momentum space, where gapped flat band, mode localization effect, and flat-to-nonflat band transition are observed in experiments and verified by simulations. This work provides evidence for constructing a synthetic stub lattice using two different rings, which, hence, makes a solid step toward experimentally constructing complicated lattices in multiple rings associated with synthetic frequency dimensions.
Advanced Photonics
  • Publication Date: Jun. 21, 2022
  • Vol. 4 Issue 3 036002 (2022)