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A power-efficient integrated lithium niobate electro-optic comb generator
preprintposted on 2023-01-12, 16:06 authored by Ke Zhang, Wenzhao Sun, Yikun Chen, Hanke Feng, Yiwen Zhang, Zhaoxi Chen, Cheng Wang
Integrated electro-optic (EO) frequency combs are essential components for future applications in optical communications, light detection and ranging, optical computation, sensing and spectroscopy. To date, broadband on-chip EO combs are typically generated in high-quality-factor micro-resonators, while the more straightforward and flexible non-resonant method, usually using single or cascaded EO phase modulators, often requires high driving power to realize a reasonably strong modulation index. Here, we show that the phase modulation efficiency of an integrated lithium niobate modulator could be dramatically enhanced by passing optical signals through the modulation electrodes for a total of 4 round trips, via multiple low-loss TE0/TE1 mode multiplexers and waveguide crossings, reducing electrical power consumption by more than one order of magnitude. Using devices fabricated from a wafer-scale stepper lithography process, we demonstrate a broadband optical frequency comb featuring 47 comb lines at a 25-GHz repetition rate, using a moderate RF driving power of 28 dBm (0.63 W). Leveraging the excellent tunability in repetition rate and operation wavelength, our power-efficient EO comb generator could serve as a compact low-cost solution for future high-speed data transmission, sensing and spectroscopy, as well as classical and quantum optical computation systems.