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Proceedings Paper

Optically tunable on-chip microresonator
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Paper Abstract

Photoswitchable organic molecules can undergo reversible structural changes with an external light stimulus. These optically controlled molecules have been used in the development of “smart” polymers, optical writing of grating films, and even controllable in-vivo drug release. Being the simplest class of photoswitches in terms of structure, azobenzenes have become the most ubiquitous, well-characterized, and implemented organic molecular switch. Given their predictable response, they are ideally suited to create an all-optically controlled switch. However, fabricating a monolithic optical device comprised solely from azobenzene while maintaining the photoswitching functionality is challenging. In this work, we combine integrated photonics with optically switchable organic molecules to create an optically controlled integrated device. A silica toroidal resonant cavity is functionalized with a monolayer of an azobenzene derivative. After functionalization, the loaded cavity Q is above 105 . When 450 nm light is coupled into cavity resonance, the azobenzene isomerizes from trans-isomer to cis-isomer, inducing a refractive index change. Because the resonant wavelength of the cavity is governed by the index, the resonant wavelength changes in parallel. At the probe wavelength of 1300 nm, the wavelength shift is determined by the duration and intensity of the 450 nm light and the density of azobenzene functional groups on the device surface, providing multiple control mechanisms. Using this photoswitchable device, resonance frequency tuning as far as sixty percent of the cavity’s free spectral range in the near-IR is demonstrated. The kinetics of the tuning agree with spectroscopic and ellipsometry measurements coupled with finite element method calculations.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 March 2020
PDF: 7 pages
Proc. SPIE 11266, Laser Resonators, Microresonators, and Beam Control XXII, 112660M (2 March 2020); doi: 10.1117/12.2546998
Show Author Affiliations
Andre Kovach, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Jinghan He, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Dongyu Chen, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Patrick Saris, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)
Andrea M. Armani, The Univ. of Southern California (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 11266:
Laser Resonators, Microresonators, and Beam Control XXII
Alexis V. Kudryashov; Alan H. Paxton; Vladimir S. Ilchenko; Andrea M. Armani, Editor(s)

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