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Published March 12, 2020 | Submitted + Published + Erratum
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Ultra-efficient frequency comb generation in AlGaAs-on-insulator microresonators


Recent advances in nonlinear optics have revolutionized integrated photonics, providing on-chip solutions to a wide range of new applications. Currently, state of the art integrated nonlinear photonic devices are mainly based on dielectric material platforms, such as Si₃N₄ and SiO₂. While semiconductor materials feature much higher nonlinear coefficients and convenience in active integration, they have suffered from high waveguide losses that prevent the realization of efficient nonlinear processes on-chip. Here, we challenge this status quo and demonstrate a low loss AlGaAs-on-insulator platform with anomalous dispersion and quality (Q) factors beyond 1.5 × 10⁶. Such a high quality factor, combined with high nonlinear coefficient and small mode volume, enabled us to demonstrate a Kerr frequency comb threshold of only ∼36 µW in a resonator with a 1 THz free spectral range, ∼100 times lower compared to that in previous semiconductor platforms. Moreover, combs with broad spans (>250 nm) have been generated with a pump power of ∼300 µW, which is lower than the threshold power of state-of the-art dielectric micro combs. A soliton-step transition has also been observed for the first time in an AlGaAs resonator.

Additional Information

© The Author(s) 2020. 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 licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence 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 licence, visit http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/. Received: 20 September 2019; Accepted: 10 February 2020; Published 12 March 2020. This work is supported by a DARPA MTO DODOS contract (HR0011-15-C-055). We thank Gordon Keeler, Justin Norman, Mario Dumont, Garrett Cole, Junqiu Liu, Eric Stanton, and Richard Mirin for fruitful discussions. This research was developed with funding from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). The views, opinions and/or findings expressed are those of the author and should not be interpreted as representing the official views or policies of the Department of Defense or the U.S. Government. These authors contributed equally: Lin Chang, Weiqiang Xie, Haowen Shu. Author Contributions: L.C., W.X., H.S., and J.B. conceived the experiment, H.S., L.C., G.M., and S.Y. did the simulation and design for the devices. W.X., L.C., and J.P. did the fabrication. W.X. carried out the SEM and AFM characterization. W.J., C.X., and S.L. assisted in the fabrication. L.C., W.X., H.S., Q.Y., and B.S. performed the experiment. L.C., W.X., H.S., Q.Y, B.S., A.B., K.S., and S.P. analyzed the data. All the authors contributed in writing the paper. X.W., K.S., S.P., K.V., and J.B. supervised this project. Data availability: The data that support the findings of this study can be accessed at https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3517781. Additional information is available from the corresponding author upon reasonable request. The authors declare no competing interests.


Chang, L., Xie, W., Shu, H. et al. Author Correction: Ultra-efficient frequency comb generation in AlGaAs-on-insulator microresonators. Nat Commun 12, 1803 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-22031-4

Attached Files

Published - s41467-020-15005-5.pdf

Submitted - 1909.09778.pdf

Erratum - s41467-021-22031-4.pdf


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August 19, 2023
October 20, 2023