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Photo-induced cascaded harmonic and comb generation in silicon nitride microresonators

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posted on 2023-01-12, 15:22 authored by Jianqi Hu, Edgars Nitiss, Jijun He, Junqiu Liu, Ozan Yakar, Wenle Weng, Tobias J. Kippenberg, Camille-Sophie Brès
Silicon nitride (Si$_3$N$_4$) is an ever-maturing integrated platform for nonlinear optics. Yet, due to the absence of second-order ($\chi^{(2)}$) nonlinearity, Si$_3$N$_4$ is mostly considered for third-order ($\chi^{(3)}$) nonlinear interactions. Recently, this limitation was overcome by optical poling in both Si$_3$N$_4$ waveguides and microresonators via the photogalvanic effect, resulting in the inscription of quasi-phase-matched $\chi^{(2)}$ gratings. Here, we report cascaded nonlinear effects in a normal dispersion Si$_3$N$_4$ microresonator with combined $\chi^{(2)}$ and $\chi^{(3)}$ nonlinearities. We demonstrate that the photo-induced $\chi^{(2)}$ grating also provides phase-matching for the sum-frequency generation process, enabling the initiation and successive switching of primary combs at pump wavelength. Additionally, the doubly resonant pump and second-harmonic fields allow for cascaded third-harmonic generation, where a secondary optically written $\chi^{(2)}$ grating is identified. Finally, we reach a low-noise, broadband microcomb state evolved from the sum-frequency coupled primary comb. These results expand the scope of cascaded effects in $\chi^{(2)}$ and $\chi^{(3)}$ microresonators.



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