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Integrated photonics on thin-film lithium niobate
preprintposted on 2023-06-08, 12:42 authored by Di Zhu, Linbo Shao, Mengjie Yu, Rebecca Cheng, Boris Desiatov, C. J. Xin, Yaowen Hu, Jeffrey Holzgrafe, Soumya Ghosh, Amirhassan Shams-Ansari, Eric Puma, Neil Sinclair, Christian Reimer, Mian Zhang, Marko Lončar
Lithium niobate (LN), an outstanding and versatile material, has influenced our daily life for decades: from enabling high-speed optical communications that form the backbone of the Internet to realizing radio-frequency filtering used in our cell phones. This half-century-old material is currently embracing a revolution in thin-film LN integrated photonics. The success of manufacturing wafer-scale, high-quality, thin films of LN on insulator (LNOI), accompanied with breakthroughs in nanofabrication techniques, have made high-performance integrated nanophotonic components possible. With rapid development in the past few years, some of these thin-film LN devices, such as optical modulators and nonlinear wavelength converters, have already outperformed their legacy counterparts realized in bulk LN crystals. Furthermore, the nanophotonic integration enabled ultra-low-loss resonators in LN, which unlocked many novel applications such as optical frequency combs and quantum transducers. In this Review, we cover -- from basic principles to the state of the art -- the diverse aspects of integrated thin-film LN photonics, including the materials, basic passive components, and various active devices based on electro-optics, all-optical nonlinearities, and acousto-optics. We also identify challenges that this platform is currently facing and point out future opportunities. The field of integrated LNOI photonics is advancing rapidly and poised to make critical impacts on a broad range of applications in communication, signal processing, and quantum information.