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High-performance Kerr microresonator optical parametric oscillator on a silicon chip



Edgar Perez, Gregory Moille, Xiyuan Lu, Jordan Stone, Feng Zhou, Kartik Srinivasan


Optical parametric oscillation (OPO) is distinguished by its wavelength access, that is, the ability to flexibly generate coherent laser light at wavelengths that are dramatically different from the pump laser, and in principle bounded solely by energy conservation between the input pump field and the output signal/idler fields. As integrated photonics advances towards many applications in quantum information science, metrology, and sensing, microchip OPO devices can provide an important path for accessing relevant wavelengths with existing lasers. OPOs based on the third-order Χ(3) optical nonlinearity are of particular interest, as Χ(3) is naturally available in silicon photonics. Apart from wavelength access, conversion efficiency and output power are critical to real-world applications, and to date, no Χ(3) OPO device has been able to simultaneously realize high-performance with respect to all three metrics of wavelength access, conversion efficiency, and output power. Here, we demonstrate a microresonator silicon photonics OPO device with unprecedented performance, approaching that of fiber-based and table-top technologies. Our silicon nitride microresonator OPO device produces output signal and idler fields widely separated in frequency from each other (>150THz) and from the pump, and exhibit a pump-to-idler conversion efficiency exceeding 25 % with output idler power exceeding 15 mW on-chip. Underpinning this performance are two key ingredients, namely, the suppression of competitive nonlinear processes that would otherwise saturate parametric gain, and second, the strong overcoupling of the output light while maintaining a high overall cavity quality factor. This methodology can be readily applied to existing silicon photonics platforms with heterogeneously-integrated pump lasers, enabling flexible coherent light generation across a broad range of wavelengths.
Nature Communications


microresonator, optical parametric oscillator, conversion efficiency, output power, high power, on-chip wavelength access, wavelength access


Perez, E. , Moille, G. , Lu, X. , Stone, J. , Zhou, F. and Srinivasan, K. (2023), High-performance Kerr microresonator optical parametric oscillator on a silicon chip, Nature Communications, [online],, (Accessed May 26, 2024)


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Created January 16, 2023, Updated April 10, 2024