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Electromechanical Brillouin scattering in integrated optomechanical waveguides
preprintposted on 2023-11-30, 18:23 authored by Qiyu Liu, Huan Li, Mo Li
In the well-known stimulated Brillouin scattering (SBS) process, spontaneous acoustic phonons in materials are stimulated by laser light and scatter the latter into a Stokes sideband. SBS becomes more pronounced in optical fibers and has been harnessed to amplify optical signals and even achieve lasing. Exploitation of SBS has recently surged on integrated photonics platforms as simultaneous confinement of photons and phonons in waveguides leads to drastically enhanced interaction. Instead of being optically stimulated, coherent phonons can also be electromechanically excited with very high efficiency as has been exploited in radiofrequency acoustic filters. Here, we demonstrate electromechanically excited Brillouin scattering in integrated optomechanical waveguides made of piezoelectric material aluminum nitride (AlN). Acoustic phonons of 16 GHz in frequency are excited with nanofabricated electromechanical transducers to scatter counter-propagating photons in the waveguide into a single anti-Stokes sideband. We show that phase-matching conditions of Brillouin scattering can be tuned by varying both the optical wavelength and the acoustic frequency to realize tunable single-sideband modulation. Combining Brillouin scattering photonics with nanoelectromechanical systems, our approach provides an efficient interface between microwave and optical photons that will be important for microwave photonics and potentially quantum transduction.