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Subwavelength Photorefractive Grating in a Thin-Film Lithium Niobate Microcavity

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posted on 2024-02-16, 17:00 authored by Jiankun Hou, Jiefu Zhu, Ruixin Ma, Boyi Xue, Yicheng Zhu, Jintian Lin, Xiaoshun Jiang, Xianfeng Chen, Ya Cheng, Li Ge, Yuanlin Zheng, Wenjie Wan
Subwavelength gratings play a fundamental and pivotal role in numerous science and applications for wave manipulation, exhibiting distinctive features such as filtering, phase manipulation, and anti-reflection. However, conventional fabrication methods for ultrasmall periodic structures are constrained by the fundamental optical diffraction limit, making it challenging to produce subwavelength gratings for optics. Here, we demonstrate a novel technique to build a reconfigurable subwavelength photorefractive grating (SPG) in a thin-film lithium niobate on the platform of an optical microcavity. Such SPGs are optically induced through the photorefractive effect and the subwavelength features originate from the spatial phase modulations of the pump's standing wave. The resulting SPGs lead to the mode splitting of two counter-propagating modes inside the microcavity, exhibiting an Electromagnetically Induced Transparency (EIT)-like transmission spectrum. Moreover, the unique subwavelength characteristic of SPGs enables first-order quasi-phase-matching for backward second-harmonic generation, a long-standing problem in nonlinear optics. Also, free-space-to-chip vertical nonlinear frequency conversion can be achieved in a similar manner. These results provide a flexible approach towards fabricating subwavelength gratings, which holds significant potential in various applications such as nonlinear frequency conversion, optical communication, sensing, and quantum technologies.



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