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8 February 2015 Converting mid-infrared signals to near-infrared through optomechanical transduction
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Mid-infrared silicon photonics emerge as the dominant technology to bridge photonics and electronics in multifunctional high-speed integrated chips. The transmission and processing of optical signals lying at the mid-infrared wavelength region is ideal for sensing, absorption-spectroscopy and free-space communications and the use of group IV materials becomes principally promising as the vehicle towards their realization. In parallel, optical forces originating from modes and cavities can reach to outstandingly large values when sizes drop into the nanoscale. In this work, we propose the exploitation of large gradient optical forces generated between suspended silicon beams and optomechanical transduction as a means of converting signals from the mid-infrared to the near-infrared region. A midinfrared signal is injected into the waveguide system so as to excite the fundamental symmetric mode. In the 2-5μm wavelength range, separation gaps in the 100nm order and waveguide widths ranging from 300–600nm, the mode is mostly guided in the air slot between the waveguides which maximizes the optomechanical coupling coefficient and optical force. The resulting attractive force deflects the waveguides and the deflection is linearly dependent on the midinfrared optical power. A simple read-out technique using 1.55μm signals with conventional waveguiding in the directional coupler formed by the two beams is analyzed. A positive conversion efficiency (<0dB) is foreseen for waveguides with suspending lengths up to 150μm. The converter could be ideal for use in sensing and spectroscopy rendering the inefficient mid-infrared detectors obsolete. The low-index unconventional guiding in mid-infrared could be a key component towards multifunctional lab-on-a-chip devices.
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A. Kapsalis, C. Mesaritakis, A. Bogris, and D. Syvridis "Converting mid-infrared signals to near-infrared through optomechanical transduction", Proc. SPIE 9370, Quantum Sensing and Nanophotonic Devices XII, 93700T (8 February 2015);

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