Evanescent coupling assisted four-wave mixing in a silicon-oninsulator directional coupler

W. Ding, O. Staines, G.D. Hobbs, A.V. Gorbach, C.E. De Nobriga, W.J. Wadsworth, J.C. Knight, D.V. Skryabin, M. Strain, M. Sorel, R.M. De La Rue

Research output: Chapter or section in a book/report/conference proceedingChapter in a published conference proceeding


Four-wave mixing (FWM) has been extensively explored in optical fibers and more recently in on-chip silicon-oninsulator (SOI) waveguides. A phase-matched FWM with a pair of degenerate pump photons generating and amplifying signal and idler photons is referred as modulational instability (MI). Following theory of FWM in waveguide arrays, we utilize evanescent couplings between neighboring waveguides to control the phase-matching condition in FWM. In experiments, a set of single-channel SOI nanowaveguides with the waveguide width decreasing from 380nm to 340nm demonstrate that changing the waveguide group velocity dispersion (GVD) at the pump wavelength from being anomalous to being normal makes MI gain gradually disappear. We also perform the same experiment with an array of two 380nm-wide SOI waveguide, and demonstrate that for the large separation of 900nm and 800nm, MI gain is present as for the single waveguide; while for the small separation of 400nm, the MI gain disappears. This transformation of phase-matching in FWM is attributed to the fact that the coupling induced dispersion changes the net GVD of the symmetric supermode from being anomalous for large separation to being normal for small separation. Our observation illustrates that the coupling-induced GVD can compete and exceed in value the GVD of a single SOI nanowaveguide. This creates a new previously unexplored degree of freedom to control FWM on chips.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
Subtitle of host publicationQuantum and nonlinear Optics II
EditorsQ Gong, G-C Guo, Y-R Shen
ISBN (Print)9780819493095
Publication statusPublished - 2012
EventQuantum and Nonlinear Optics II - Beijing, China
Duration: 5 Nov 20127 Nov 2012

Publication series

NameSPIE Proceedings


ConferenceQuantum and Nonlinear Optics II


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