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Lithium Niobate Piezo-optomechanical Crystals

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posted on 2023-11-30, 18:01 authored by Wentao Jiang, Rishi N. Patel, Felix M. Mayor, Timothy P. McKenna, Patricio Arrangoiz-Arriola, Christopher J. Sarabalis, Jeremy D. Witmer, Raphaël Van Laer, Amir H. Safavi-Naeini
Demonstrating a device that efficiently connects light, motion, and microwaves is an outstanding challenge in classical and quantum photonics. We make significant progress in this direction by demonstrating a photonic crystal resonator on thin-film lithium niobate (LN) that simultaneously supports high-$Q$ optical and mechanical modes, and where the mechanical modes are coupled piezoelectrically to microwaves. For optomechanical coupling, we leverage the photoelastic effect in LN by optimizing the device parameters to realize coupling rates $g_0/2\pi\approx 120~\textrm{kHz}$. An optomechanical cooperativity $C>1$ is achieved leading to phonon lasing. Electrodes on the nanoresonator piezoelectrically drive mechanical waves on the beam that are then read out optically allowing direct observation of the phononic bandgap. Quantum coupling efficiency of $\eta\approx10^{-8}$ from the input microwave port to the localized mechanical resonance is measured. Improvements of the microwave circuit and electrode geometry can increase this efficiency and bring integrated ultra-low-power modulators and quantum microwave-to-optical converters closer to reality.

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