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High-Q slow light and its localization in a photonic crystal microring

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posted on 2023-01-12, 14:01 authored by Xiyuan Lu, Andrew McClung, Kartik Srinivasan
We introduce a photonic crystal ring cavity that resembles an internal gear and unites photonic crystal (PhC) and whispering gallery mode (WGM) concepts. This `microgear' photonic crystal ring (MPhCR) is created by applying a periodic modulation to the inside boundary of a microring resonator to open a large bandgap, as in a PhC cavity, while maintaining the ring's circularly symmetric outside boundary and high quality factor ($Q$), as in a WGM cavity. The MPhCR targets a specific WGM to open a large PhC bandgap up to tens of free spectral ranges, compressing the mode spectrum while maintaining the high-$Q$, angular momenta, and waveguide coupling properties of the WGM modes. In particular, near the dielectric band-edge, we observe modes whose group velocity is slowed down by 10 times relative to conventional microring modes while supporting $Q~=~(1.1\pm0.1)\times10^6$. This $Q$ is $\approx$50$\times$ that of the previous record in slow light devices. Using the slow light design as a starting point, we further demonstrate the ability to localize WGMs into photonic crystal defect (dPhC) modes for the first time, enabling a more than 10$\times$ reduction of mode volume compared to conventional WGMs while maintaining high-$Q$ up to (5.6$\pm$0.1)$\times$10$^5$. Importantly, this additional dPhC localization is achievable without requiring detailed electromagnetic design. Moreover, controlling their frequencies and waveguide coupling is straightforward in the MPhCR, thanks to its WGM heritage. By using a PhC to strongly modify fundamental properties of WGMs, such as group velocity and localization, the MPhCR provides an exciting platform for a broad range of photonics applications, including sensing/metrology, nonlinear optics, and cavity quantum electrodynamics.



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