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Lithium Niobate Nanophotonics For Electro-Optics, Nonlinear Optics, and Quantum Optics

Lithium niobate has a unique combination of physical properties - along with presenting high nonlinear optical and electro-optical coefficients, it is ferroelectric, piezoelectric, pyroelectric, and photorefractive. These properties have led to the use of lithium niobate in a variety of optical and acoustic devices.


In the past decade, wafer-scale single crystal thin-films of lithium niobate have been realized - a significant advancement in lithium niobate technology. These thin-films offer over an order of magnitude improvement in optical confinement, waveguide bending radius, electro-optical efficiency, and, nonlinear-optical efficiency, when compared to conventional lithium niobate integrated optics. I will review my work on a variety of miniaturized and efficient nanophotonic thin-film based lithium niobate devices. I'll begin with two types of compact electro-optic modulators – microring modulators, and Mach-Zehnder modulators. Next, I'll move on to two distinct approaches to nonlinear optical frequency converters, periodically poled lithium niobate, and grating assisted quasi-phase matching, and broach the topic of random quasi-phase matching . Finally, I'll cover the use of nanophotonic periodically poled lithium niobate as a broadband photon-pair source and our study of its spectral correlations.

To conclude, I will briefly discuss potential extensions of the aforementioned work in the fields of chip-scale RF photonics, nonlinear optics and quantum photonics. This will include applications in frequency metrology, optical to microwave links, single-photon level interactions, and large-scale quantum frequency processing.

Ashutosh Rao

CREOL, The College of Optics and Photonics, University of Central Florida

Created April 10, 2018, Updated October 1, 2018