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Integrated photonic interposers for processing octave-spanning microresonator frequency combs

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posted on 2023-11-30, 20:46 authored by Ashutosh Rao, Gregory Moille, Xiyuan Lu, Daron A. Westly, Davide Sacchetto, Michael Geiselmann, Michael Zervas, Scott B. Papp, John Bowers, Kartik Srinivasan
Microcombs - optical frequency combs generated in microresonators - have advanced tremendously in the last decade, and are advantageous for applications in frequency metrology, navigation, spectroscopy, telecommunications, and microwave photonics. Crucially, microcombs offer the prospect of fully integrated miniaturized optical systems with unprecedented reductions in cost, size, weight, and power. However, this goal has been consistently hindered by the use of bulk free-space and fiber-optic components to process microcombs, limiting form factors to the table-top. Here, we address this challenge by introducing an integrated photonics interposer architecture to process microcombs and replace discrete components. Taking microcomb-based optical frequency synthesis in the telecom C-band around 1550 nm as our target application, we develop an interposer architecture that collects, routes, and interfaces octave-wide optical signals between photonic chiplets and heterogeneously integrated devices that constitute the synthesizer. We have implemented the octave spanning spectral filtering of a microcomb, central to the interposer, in the popular silicon nitride photonic platform, and have confirmed the requisite performance of the individual elements of the interposer. Moreover, we show that the thick silicon nitride needed for bright dissipative Kerr soliton generation can be integrated with the comparatively thin silicon nitride interposer layer through octave-bandwidth adiabatic evanescent coupling, indicating a path towards future system-level consolidation. Our interposer architecture addresses the immediate need for on-chip microcomb processing to successfully miniaturize microcomb systems. As microcombs and integrated devices evolve, our approach can be readily adapted to other metrology-grade applications based on optical atomic clocks and high-precision navigation and spectroscopy.



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