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Fiber Coupled Nanophotonic Devices for Nonlinear Optics and Cavity QED


Barclay, Paul Edward (2007) Fiber Coupled Nanophotonic Devices for Nonlinear Optics and Cavity QED. Dissertation (Ph.D.), California Institute of Technology. doi:10.7907/JKP4-SC05.


The sub-wavelength optical confinement and low optical loss of nanophotonic devices dramatically enhances the interaction between light and matter within these structures. When nanophotonic devices are combined with an efficient optical coupling channel, nonlinear optical behavior can be observed at low power levels in weakly-nonlinear materials. In a similar vein, when resonant atomic systems interact with nanophotonic devices, atom-photon coupling effects can be observed at a single quanta level. Crucially, the chip based nature of nanophotonics provides a scalable platform from which to study these effects.

This thesis addresses the use of nanophotonic devices in nonlinear and quantum optics, including device design, optical coupling, fabrication and testing, modeling, and integration with more complex systems. We present a fiber taper coupling technique that allows efficient power transfer from an optical fiber into a photonic crystal waveguide. Greater than 97% power transfer into a silicon photonic crystal waveguide is demonstrated. This optical channel is then connected to a high-Q (> 40,000), ultra-small mode volume (V < (λ/n)3) photonic crystal cavity, into which we couple > 44% of the photons input to a fiber. This permits the observation of optical bistability in silicon for sub-mW input powers at telecommunication wavelengths.

To port this technology to cavity QED experiments at near-visible wavelengths, we also study silicon nitride microdisk cavities at wavelengths near 852 nm, and observe resonances with Q > 3 million and V < 15 (λ/n)3). This Q/V ratio is sufficiently high to reach the strong coupling regime with cesium atoms. We then permanently align and mount a fiber taper within the near-field an array of microdisks, and integrate this device with an atom chip, creating an "atom-cavity chip" which can magnetically trap laser cooled atoms above the microcavity. Calculations of the microcavity single atom sensitivity as a function of Q/V are presented and compared with numerical simulations. Taking into account non-idealities, these cavities should allow detection of single laser cooled cesium atoms.

Item Type:Thesis (Dissertation (Ph.D.))
Subject Keywords:microcavity; microdisk; microresonator; nanocavity; nonlinear optics; photonic crystal; silicon; silicon nitride
Degree Grantor:California Institute of Technology
Division:Engineering and Applied Science
Major Option:Applied Physics
Thesis Availability:Public (worldwide access)
Research Advisor(s):
  • Painter, Oskar J.
Thesis Committee:
  • Painter, Oskar J. (chair)
  • Yariv, Amnon
  • Mabuchi, Hideo
  • Vahala, Kerry J.
Defense Date:23 May 2007
Record Number:CaltechETD:etd-06042007-124631
Persistent URL:
Barclay, Paul Edward0000-0002-9659-5883
Default Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:2448
Deposited By: Imported from ETD-db
Deposited On:05 Jun 2007
Last Modified:05 Mar 2020 18:07

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