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Integrated Buried Heaters for Efficient Spectral Control of Air-Clad Microresonator Frequency Combs

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posted on 2023-01-10, 02:56 authored by Gregory Moille, Daron Westly, Edgar F. Perez, Meredith Metzler, Gregory Simelgor, Kartik Srinivasan
Integrated heaters are a basic ingredient within the photonics toolbox, in particular for microresonator frequency tuning through the thermo-refractive effect. Resonators that are fully embedded in a solid cladding (typically SiO\textsubscript{2}) allow for straightforward lossless integration of heater elements. However, air-clad resonators, which are of great interest for short wavelength dispersion engineering and direct interfacing with atomic/molecular systems, do not usually have similarly low loss and efficient integrated heater integration through standard fabrication. Here, we develop a new approach in which the integrated heater is embedded in SiO$_2$ below the waveguiding layer, enabling more efficient heating and more arbitrary routing of the heater traces than possible in a lateral configuration. We incorporate these buried heaters within a stoichiometric Si$_3$N$_4$ process flow that includes high-temperature ($>$1000~$^\circ$C) annealing. Microring resonators with a 1~THz free spectral range and quality factors near 10$^6$ are demonstrated, and the resonant modes are tuned by nearly 1.5~THz, a 5$\times$ improvement compared to equivalent devices with lateral heaters\greg{.} Finally, we demonstrate broadband dissipative Kerr soliton generation in this platform, and show how the heaters can be utilized to aid in bringing relevant lock frequencies within a detectable range.

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