Nonreciprocal Light Propagation in a Silicon Photonic Circuit

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Science  05 Aug 2011:
Vol. 333, Issue 6043, pp. 729-733
DOI: 10.1126/science.1206038

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Optical communications and computing require on-chip nonreciprocal light propagation to isolate and stabilize different chip-scale optical components. We have designed and fabricated a metallic-silicon waveguide system in which the optical potential is modulated along the length of the waveguide such that nonreciprocal light propagation is obtained on a silicon photonic chip. Nonreciprocal light transport and one-way photonic mode conversion are demonstrated at the wavelength of 1.55 micrometers in both simulations and experiments. Our system is compatible with conventional complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor processing, providing a way to chip-scale optical isolators for optical communications and computing.

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