Free spectral range electrical tuning of a high quality on-chip microcavity

Christiaan Bekker, Christopher G. Baker, Rachpon Kalra, Han-Hao Cheng, Bei-Bei Li, Varun Prakash, Warwick P. Bowen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Citations (Scopus)
7 Downloads (Pure)


Reconfigurable photonic circuits have applications ranging from next-generation computer architectures to quantum networks, coherent radar and optical metamaterials. However, complete reconfigurability is only currently practical on millimetre-scale device footprints. Here, we overcome this barrier by developing an on-chip high quality microcavity with resonances that can be electrically tuned across a full free spectral range (FSR). FSR tuning allows resonance with any source or emitter, or between any number of networked microcavities. We achieve it by integrating nanoelectronic actuation with strong optomechanical interactions that create a highly strain-dependent effective refractive index. This allows low voltages and sub-nanowatt power consumption. We demonstrate a basic reconfigurable photonic network, bringing the microcavity into resonance with an arbitrary mode of a microtoroidal optical cavity across a telecommunications fibre link. Our results have applications beyond photonic circuits, including widely tuneable integrated lasers, reconfigurable optical filters for telecommunications and astronomy, and on-chip sensor networks.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33649-33670
Number of pages22
JournalOptics Express
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 24 Dec 2018


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