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Published December 20, 2019 | Published + Supplemental Material + Submitted
Journal Article Open

Microwave-to-optical conversion using lithium niobate thin-film acoustic resonators


Acoustic or mechanical resonators have emerged as a promising means to mediate efficient microwave-to-optical conversion. Here, we demonstrate conversion of microwaves up to 4.5 GHz in frequency to 1500 nm wavelength light using optomechanical interactions on suspended thin-film lithium niobate. Our method uses an interdigital transducer that drives a freestanding 100 μm-long thin-film acoustic resonator to modulate light traveling in a Mach–Zehnder interferometer or racetrack cavity. The strong microwave-to-acoustic coupling offered by the transducer in conjunction with the strong photoelastic, piezoelectric, and electro-optic effects of lithium niobate allows us to achieve a half-wave voltage of Vπ = 4.6 V and Vπ = 0.77 V for the Mach–Zehnder interferometer and racetrack resonator, respectively. The acousto-optic racetrack cavity exhibits an optomechanical single-photon coupling strength of 1.1 kHz. To highlight the versatility of our system, we also demonstrate a microwave photonic link with unitary gain, which refers to a 0 dB microwave power transmission over an optical channel. Our integrated nanophotonic platform, which leverages the compelling properties of lithium niobate, could help enable efficient conversion between microwave and optical fields.

Additional Information

© 2019 Optical Society of America under the terms of the OSA Open Access Publishing Agreement. Received 8 July 2019; revised 9 September 2019; accepted 10 September 2019 (Doc. ID 372069); published 2 December 2019. N. S. acknowledges support by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC), the AQT Intelligent Quantum Networks and Technologies (INQNET) research program, and by the DOE/HEP QuantISED program grant, QCCFP (Quantum Communication Channels for Fundamental Physics). Funding: National Science Foundation (DMR-1707372, DMR-1231319, ECCS-1740296, ECCS-1810233); Office of Naval Research (N00014-15-1-2761); Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada; U.S. Department of Energy (DE-SC0019219).

Attached Files

Submitted - 1907.08593.pdf

Supplemental Material - 4146202.pdf

Published - optica-6-12-1498.pdf


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Additional details

August 19, 2023
August 19, 2023