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Experimental Realization of on-Chip Nonreciprocal Transmission by Using the Mechanical Kerr Effect

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journal contribution
posted on 30.09.2020, 20:48 authored by Linhao Ren, Xinbiao Xu, Song Zhu, Lei Shi, Xinliang Zhang
Realizing nonreciprocal light transmission in photonic integrated circuits is challenging and highly desirable. To break the time-reversal symmetry without the magneto-optical effect, nonlinear optical effects are widely used. Here, on-chip, all-passive, low-power-consumption, and low-insertion-loss nonreciprocal light transmission is achieved by using the mechanical Kerr effect (MKE) based on an optomechanical microring combined with a lossy component. Since there exists a fundamental trade-off between the maximum forward transmission and the nonreciprocal power range, the device is optimized by choosing an appropriate lossy component. A maximum nonreciprocal transmission ratio of 23 dB with an operating power of 251 μW and an insertion loss of 2.3 dB is realized based on the strong MKE. In order to rigorously demonstrate that the thermal effect in the experiments is negligible and nonreciprocal transmission is caused by the MKE, detailed theoretical analysis and contrast experiments are presented for the comparison of the MKE and the thermal effect. Besides, it is proposed that, by electrically tuning the induced loss of the lossy component, the nonreciprocal transmission bandwidth and the nonreciprocal power range can be greatly broadened, which is critical for building reconfigurable nonreciprocal devices. This all-silicon device is compact and compatible with current complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) processing, which is important for integrated photonic information processing technologies and beneficial to further studies on integrated optomechanics.