Distinguished Lecture

Silicon-chip-based optical resonators with Q factor> 100 million

Professor Kerry Vahala, of CalTech

A novel processing method has been applied to create optical micro-resonators having Q factors as high as 500 million on silicon wafers. These devices open up many new applications for lab-on-a-chip experimental work. After describing the processing and passive optical properties of these devices, the consequences of resonant energy buildup in a microscale, ultra-high-Q system will be described. Demonstrations of micro Raman and micro OPO lasers based on these cavity structures will be reviewed. Finally, radiation confined within a vessel exerts pressure upon its walls. If the vessel is a high-Q micro-cavity, then a weak power level, coupled to the cavity can exert a substantial, resonantly-enhanced pressure on the internal micro-cavity walls. Such a pressure will deform the cavity structure and change the resonant condition. This effect has been theorized to produce a parametric oscillation in the mechanical modes of the optical resonator. The first observation of this effect will be described.
Ted and Ginger Jenkins Professor of Information Science and Technology and Professor of Applied Physics. Engineering and Applied Science Division.

Sponsored by

Optics and Photonics Lab