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Parity-time symmetry enabled ultra-efficient nonlinear optical signal processing

0410Nonlinear optical signal processing (NOSP) has the potential to significantly improve the throughput, flexibility, and cost-efficiency of optical communication networks by exploiting the intrinsically ultrafast optical nonlinear wave mixing. It can support digital signal processing speeds of up to terabits per second, far exceeding the line rate of the electronic counterpart. In NOSP, high-intensity light fields are used to generate nonlinear optical responses, which can be used to process optical signals. Great efforts have been devoted to developing new materials and structures for NOSP. However, one of the challenges in implementing NOSP is the requirement of high-intensity light fields, which is difficult to generate and maintain. This has been a major roadblock to realize practical NOSP systems for high-speed, high-capacity optical communications. Here, we propose using a parity-time (PT) symmetric microresonator system to significantly enhance the light intensity and support high-speed operation by relieving the bandwidth-efficiency limit imposed on conventional single resonator systems. The design concept is the co-existence of a PT symmetry broken regime for a narrow-linewidth pump wave and near-exceptional point operation for broadband signal and idler waves. This enables us to achieve a new NOSP system with two orders of magnitude improvement in efficiency compared to a single resonator. With a highly nonlinear AlGaAs-on-Insulator platform, we demonstrate an NOSP at a data rate approaching 40 gigabits per second with a record low pump power of one milliwatt. These findings pave the way for the development of fully chip-scale NOSP devices with pump light sources integrated together, potentially leading to a wide range of applications in optical communication networks and classical or quantum computation. The combination of PT symmetry and NOSP may also open up opportunities for amplification, detection, and sensing, where response speed and efficiency are equally important.

Vectorial liquid-crystal holography

0311Vectorial optics with fine inhomogeneous polarization control are highly desired. Metasurfaces have been captivated a promising candidate, but their static post-fabrication geometry largely limits the dynamic tunability. Liquid crystal (LC) is usually employed as an additional index-changing layer together with metasurfaces. Unfortunately, most of the reported LCs only impart a varying but uniform phase on top of that from the metasurface, which we term “scalar” LC optics. Here, we pixelate a single-layer LC to display versatile and tunable vectorial holography, in which the polarization and amplitude could be arbitrarily and independently controlled at varying spatial positions. Furthermore, the subtle and vectorial LC-holography highlights the broadband and electrically-switchable functionalities. Our vectorial LC holography reveals significant opportunities for advanced cryptography, super-resolution imaging, and many other applications.

  1. Authors: Ze-Yu Wang, Zhou Zhou, Han Zhang, Yang Wei, Hong-Guan Yu, Wei Hu, Wei Chen, Hai-Tao Dai, Ling-Ling Ma, Cheng-Wei Qiu and Yan-Qing Lu

Aims and scope

eLight aims to attract the finest manuscripts, broadly covering all sub-fields of optics, photonics and electromagnetics. In particular, we focus on those emerging topics and cross-disciplinary researches related to optics.

Editors' Quotes

From EiC Prof. Aydogan Ozcan

"We look forward to working with optics and photonics community to make eLight among the first choices to publish the highest quality research results from all around the world, broadly covering all the exciting research and advances in light science and engineering."

From EiC Prof. Cheng-Wei Qiu

"For those who love the science of light, photonics, and optical materials, we wish to make eLight among the first few journal names flashing in your mind when you are about to submit your excellent and proud works. Let us grow and glow together, and with your paramount support, we could make it happen. "

Editor-in-Chief: Dr. Aydogan Ozcan

Aydogan OzcanDr. Aydogan Ozcan is the Chancellor’s Professor and the Volgenau Chair for Engineering Innovation at UCLA and an HHMI Professor with the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, leading the Bio- and Nano-Photonics Laboratory at UCLA School of Engineering and is also the Associate Director of the California NanoSystems Institute. Dr. Ozcan is elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI) and holds >45 issued/granted patents and >20 pending patent applications and is also the author of one book and the co-author of >700 peer-reviewed publications in major scientific journals and conferences. Dr. Ozcan is the founder and a member of the Board of Directors of Lucendi Inc., Hana Diagnostics, Pictor Labs, as well as Holomic/Cellmic LLC, which was named a Technology Pioneer by The World Economic Forum in 2015. Dr. Ozcan is also a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), the International Photonics Society (SPIE), the Optical Society of America (OSA), the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the Royal Society of Chemistry (RSC), the American Physical Society (APS) and the Guggenheim Foundation, and has received major awards including the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, International Commission for Optics Prize, Biophotonics Technology Innovator Award, Rahmi M. Koc Science Medal, International Photonics Society Early Career Achievement Award, Army Young Investigator Award, NSF CAREER Award, NIH Director’s New Innovator Award, Navy Young Investigator Award, IEEE Photonics Society Young Investigator Award and Distinguished Lecturer Award, National Geographic Emerging Explorer Award, National Academy of Engineering The Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering Award and MIT’s TR35 Award for his seminal contributions to computational imaging, sensing and diagnostics.

Editor-in-Chief: Prof. Cheng-Wei Qiu

仇成伟Prof. Cheng-Wei Qiu received his B.Eng. (USTC) and Ph. D. (NUS) degree in 2003 and 2007, respectively. He was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Physics Department in MIT till the end of 2009. Since December 2009, he joined NUS as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in Jan 2017. From 1st Jan 2018, he was promoted to Dean’s Chair Professor in Faculty of Engineering, NUS. He was the recipient of the SUMMA Graduate Fellowship in Advanced Electromagnetics in 2005, IEEE AP-S Graduate Research Award in 2006, URSI Young Scientist Award in 2008, NUS Young Investigator Award in 2011, MIT TR35@Singapore Award in 2012, Young Scientist Award by Singapore National Academy of Science in 2013, Faculty Young Research Award in NUS 2013, SPIE Rising Researcher Award 2018, Young Engineering Research Award 2018 in NUS. Dr. Qiu is a fellow of Optica (formerly OSA), SPIE, and The Electromagnetics Academy. His research is known for the structured light for beam manipulation and nanoparticle manipulation. He has published over 300 peer-reviewed journal papers. He was Highly Cited Researchers 2019 by Web of Science. He has been serving in Associate Editor for various journals such as PhotoniX, Photonics Research, and Editor-in-Chief for eLight. He also serves in Editorial Advisory Board for Laser and Photonics Review, Advanced Optical Materials, and ACS Photonics.

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