Spectral phase transitions in optical parametric oscillators
Driven nonlinear resonators provide a fertile ground for phenomena related to phase transitions far from equilibrium, which can open opportunities unattainable in their linear counterparts. Here, we show that optical parametric oscillators (OPOs) can undergo second-order phase transitions in the spectral domain between degenerate and non-degenerate regimes. This abrupt change in the spectral response follows a square-root dependence around the critical point, exhibiting high sensitivity to parameter variation akin to systems around an exceptional point. We experimentally demonstrate such a phase transition in a quadratic OPO. We show that the divergent susceptibility of the critical point is accompanied by spontaneous symmetry breaking and distinct phase noise properties in the two regimes, indicating the importance of a beyond nonlinear bifurcation interpretation. We also predict the occurrence of first-order spectral phase transitions in coupled OPOs. Our results on non-equilibrium spectral behaviors can be utilized for enhanced sensing, advanced computing, and quantum information processing.
© The Author(s) 2021. This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons license, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons license and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this license, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Received 02 April 2020; Accepted 11 January 2021; Published 05 February 2021. We acknowledge stimulating discussions with Avik Dutt, Mohammad-Ali Miri, Myoung-Gyun Suh, Li-Ping Yang, and Marc Jankowski. The authors gratefully acknowledge support from ARO grant no. W911NF-18-1-0285 and NSF grant no. 1846273 and 1918549, and AFOSR award FA9550-20-1-0040. The authors wish to thank NTT Research for their financial and technical support. Data availability: The data that support the plots within this paper and other findings of this study are available from the corresponding author. Code availability: The codes that support the findings of this study are available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. Author Contributions: A.R. and A.M. conceived the idea and performed the experiments. A.R. and S.J. developed the theory and performed the numerical simulations. C.L. fabricated the PPLN waveguide used in the experiment with supervision of M.F. A.R. and A.M. wrote the manuscript with input from all authors. A.M. supervised the project. The authors declare no competing interests. Peer review information:Nature Communications thanks Kaled Dechoum and the other, anonymous, reviewer(s) for their contribution to the peer review of this work.
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