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Fully symmetric controllable integrated three-resonator photonic molecule

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posted on 2023-01-11, 22:50 authored by Jiawei Wang, Kaikai Liu, Qiancheng Zhao, Andrei Isichenko, Ryan Q. Rudy, Daniel J. Blumenthal
Photonic molecules can be used to realize complex optical energy states and modes, analogous to those found in molecules, with properties useful for applications like spectral engineering and quantum optics. It is desirable to implement photonic molecules using high quality factor photonic integrated ring resonators due to their narrow atom-like spectral resonance, tunability, and the ability to scale the number of resonators on a photonic circuit. However, to take full advantage of molecule spectral complexity and tuning degree of freedom, resonator structures should have full symmetry in terms of inter-resonator coupling and resonator-waveguide coupling as well as independent resonance tuning, and low power dissipation operation, in a scalable integration platform. To date, photonic molecule symmetry has been limited to dual- and triple-cavity geometries coupled to single- or dual-busses, and resonance tuning limited to dual resonator molecules. In this paper, we demonstrate a three-resonator photonic molecule, consisting of symmetrically coupled 8.11 million intrinsic Q silicon nitride rings, where each ring is coupled to the other two rings. The resonance of each ring, and that of the collective molecule, is controlled using low power dissipation, monolithically integrated thin-film lead zirconate titanate (PZT) actuators that are integrated with the ultra-low loss silicon nitride resonators. This performance is achieved without undercut waveguides, yielding the highest Q to date for a PZT controlled resonator. This advance leads to full control of complex photonic molecule resonance spectra and splitting in a wafer-scale integration platform. The resulting six tunable supermodes can be fully controlled, including degeneracy, location and splitting as well as designed by a model that can accurately predict the energy modes and transmission spectrum and tunable resonance splitting.

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