Chaos-assisted broadband momentum transformation in optical microresonators

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Science  20 Oct 2017:
Vol. 358, Issue 6361, pp. 344-347
DOI: 10.1126/science.aao0763

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Harnessing chaos for enhanced coupling

Functional optical devices typically require the coupling of light between different components. However, conservation of momentum usually limits the bandwidth of the coupling, often to a near-resonant effect. Jiang et al. show that slightly deformed microring resonators might be able to relax those restrictions. The chaotic scattering of the light within the deformed structure can transform optical modes of different angular momenta within a few picoseconds, providing a promising route to develop advanced nanophotonic circuits and devices.

Science, this issue p. 344


The law of momentum conservation rules out many desired processes in optical microresonators. We report broadband momentum transformations of light in asymmetric whispering gallery microresonators. Assisted by chaotic motions, broadband light can travel between optical modes with different angular momenta within a few picoseconds. Efficient coupling from visible to near-infrared bands is demonstrated between a nanowaveguide and whispering gallery modes with quality factors exceeding 10 million. The broadband momentum transformation enhances the device conversion efficiency of the third-harmonic generation by greater than three orders of magnitude over the conventional evanescent-wave coupling. The observed broadband and fast momentum transformation could promote applications such as multicolor lasers, broadband memories, and multiwavelength optical networks.

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