Lithium niobate (LN) is a well-understood and heavily used optical material with a variety of useful properties such as its linear electro-optic effect, chi(2) nonlinearity, and piezoelectric effect. However, LN is a difficult material to etch and patterning high quality optical devices is challenging. Here we present results on the design and fabrication of a photonic crystal cavity made in a hybrid silicon-on-lithium-niobate material system. This material system takes advantage of the useful properties of LN, while simultaneously leveraging expertise in silicon etching and removing the need to pattern LN. These devices use the index contrast between silicon and LN to guide and confine optical resonances in a thin film of silicon bonded on top of LN. The photonic crystals have optical wavelength scale mode volumes and simulated quality factors greater than 10^6, with measured quality factors above 10^5. Due to the electro-optic effect in LN, these devices exhibit coupling between the optical resonance frequency and the electric field of adjacent electrodes. We show that such a system can yield a simulated electro-optic coupling rate of 0.6 GHz/V (4 pm/V). We expect resonators of this type to have a wide range of applications, including achieving large coupling to isolated rare-earth ions (such as Er3+) at telecom frequencies, efficient three-wave mixing in resonant silicon devices, and sensitive acousto- and electro-optic modulation.
Jeremy D. Witmer, Jeff T. Hill, and Amir H. Safavi-Naeini, "Silicon-on-lithium-niobate photonics for quantum electro-optic converters (Conference Presentation)," Proc. SPIE 10112, Photonic and Phononic Properties of Engineered Nanostructures VII, 101120F (Presented at SPIE OPTO: January 31, 2017; Published: 28 April 2017); https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2253098.5395679896001.
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