On-chip inter-modal Brillouin scattering

Nat Commun. 2017 Jul 7;8:15819. doi: 10.1038/ncomms15819.


Brillouin nonlinearities-which result from coupling between photons and acoustic phonons-are exceedingly weak in conventional nanophotonic silicon waveguides. Only recently have Brillouin interactions been transformed into the strongest and most tailorable nonlinear interactions in silicon using a new class of optomechanical waveguides that control both light and sound. In this paper, we use a multi-mode optomechanical waveguide to create stimulated Brillouin scattering between light-fields guided in distinct spatial modes of an integrated waveguide for the first time. This interaction, termed stimulated inter-modal Brillouin scattering, decouples Stokes and anti-Stokes processes to enable single-sideband amplification and dynamics that permit near-unity power conversion. Using integrated mode multiplexers to address separate optical modes, we show that circulators and narrowband filters are not necessary to separate pump and signal waves. We also demonstrate net optical amplification and Brillouin energy transfer as the basis for flexible on-chip light sources, amplifiers, nonreciprocal devices and signal-processing technologies.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.