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Published August 5, 2011 | public
Journal Article

Nonreciprocal Light Propagation in a Silicon Photonic Circuit


Optical communications and computing require on-chip nonreciprocal light propagation to isolate and stabilize different chip-scale optical components. We have designed and fabricated a metallic-silicon waveguide system in which the optical potential is modulated along the length of the waveguide such that nonreciprocal light propagation is obtained on a silicon photonic chip. Nonreciprocal light transport and one-way photonic mode conversion are demonstrated at the wavelength of 1.55 micrometers in both simulations and experiments. Our system is compatible with conventional complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor processing, providing a way to chip-scale optical isolators for optical communications and computing.

Additional Information

© 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science. Received for publication 24 March 2011; accepted 27 June 2011. Support by NSF and NSF ERC Center for Integrated Access Networks grant EEC-0812072, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency under the Nanoscale Architecture for Coherent Hyperoptical Sources program grant W911NF-07-1-0277, National Basic Research Program of China grant 2007CB613202, National Nature Science Foundation of China grants 50632030 and 10874080, and Nature Science Foundation of Jiangsu Province grant BK2007712. We thank Nanonics, Ltd., for extensive training and support in near-field scanning optical microscopy. M.A. acknowledges support of a Cymer Corp. graduate fellowship.

Additional details

August 19, 2023
March 5, 2024