Coherent optical wavelength conversion via cavity-optomechanics

21.06.2013, 00:00

Newsletter 6

The ability to coherently convert photons between disparate wavelengths has broad technological implications, not only for classical communication systems but also future quantum networks. Most experiments to date demonstrating both classical and quantum wavelength conversion have utilized intrinsic optical nonlinearities of materials. The nonlinear interaction of light with acoustic or molecular mechanical vibrations of materials, for instance, enables a great many optical functions used in high-speed optical communication systems today. In a recent article appearing in Nature Communications, we demonstrate optical wavelength conversion utilizing a simple hybrid optomechanical system (see figure) consisting of an acoustic and optical resonator formed from the top silicon device layer of a silicon-on-insulator wafer typically used in the microelectronics industry.  The extreme localization of both acoustic and optical energy in this structure results in a strong radiation pressure interaction between both optical modes and the mechanical motion of the resonator. Optical wavelength conversion is demonstrated over the 1.5MHz bandwidth of the mechanical resonance at a peak internal efficiency exceeding 90%, and with a thermally-limited noise of only 6 quanta, well above the quantum-limited noise of 4x10-3 quanta.

Contact: oskar.painter(at)mpl.mpg(dot)de
Group: Painter Division
Reference: J. T. Hill et al., Nat. Commun. 3, 1196 (2012); doi: 10.1038/ncomms2201.