New Microphotonics Research Group

As of January 2020 Pascal Del’Haye heads the new Microphotonics Research Group at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Light.

The main research focus of the group will be on integrated microphotonic devices and nonlinear optics in whispering gallery mode microresonators. These resonators are tiny rings with diameters on the order of the size of a human hair that can store light for up to 1 million roundtrips. The long photon storage times in these resonators allow them to “charge” these devices with circulating optical powers of up to a Megawatt, which enables studies of a large variety of nonlinear optical effects.

In integrated optical circuits the optical microresonators can convert a single wavelength laser into an optical frequency comb, which is a light source consisting of many equidistantly space optical frequencies. These devices can be used as optical rulers with applications ranging from distance measurements to precision spectroscopy and channel generation in telecommunication networks.

An additional research area of the group are studies of the interaction of counterpropagating light in ring resonators. The nonlinear optical coupling of counterpropagating light leads to a spontaneous symmetry breaking that allows light circulation only in one direction, either clockwise or counterclockwise. This effect can be used for the realization of chip-integrated optical diodes, gyroscopes, and photonic switches.



Lothar Kuhn

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