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Ultra-High-Q Planar Microcavities and Applications


Armani, Deniz Karapetian (2005) Ultra-High-Q Planar Microcavities and Applications. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/EZHA-VY23.


Ultra-high-Q (UHQ) silica microspheres have found research applications in diverse fields ranging from telecommunications to nonlinear optics to biological and chemical sensing. However, despite having quality factors greater than 108, the silica microsphere has not moved to an industrial setting because of several major drawbacks. The most hindering is the manual fabrication technique used that makes tight process control difficult and integration with other optical or electrical components impossible. Despite the strong desire to fabricate an integrated UHQ microresonator on a planar substrate, the highest quality factor achieved for any micro-fabricated planar micro-cavity (at the time of my first publication) was over 4 orders of magnitude lower than for silica microspheres. In this thesis, a process for creating planar micro-cavities with Q factors in excess of 400 million on silicon wafers is demonstrated. The advantage of these planar ultra-high-Q (UHQ) microtoroid resonators is that they successfully overcome the previously mentioned drawbacks of silica microsphere resonators while maintaining nearly identical, if not better, performance characteristics. Additionally, due to the planar nature of these new devices, functionality has been integrated in-situ while maintaining UHQ for the first time, such as active resonant frequency tuning, coupling control, and low-threshold lasing.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:microresonators; microtoroids; ultra high q
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Electrical Engineering
Awards:Charles Wilts Prize, 2005. Graduate Deans’ Award for Outstanding Community Service, 2005.
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Vahala, Kerry J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Vahala, Kerry J. (chair)
  • Rutledge, David B.
  • Psaltis, Demetri
  • Painter, Oskar J.
  • Abu-Mostafa, Yaser S.
Defense Date:6 May 2005
Non-Caltech Author Email:darmani (AT)
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-05272005-113247
Persistent URL:
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2146
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:27 May 2005
Last Modified:12 Aug 2020 22:45

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