Laboratoire Charles Coulomb UMR 5221 CNRS/UM2 (L2C)


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Comb-on-GaN (Labex Ganext project, 2020-2024) : Integrated photonics for fluids of light, from visible to near-infrared

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Comb-on-GaN (Labex Ganext project, 2020-2024)

Integrated nitride photonics for fluids of light : from UV to near-infrared

  • Project coordinator : Thierry Guillet, Laboratoire Charles Coulomb, Montpellier
  • Project goal : Demonstration of three innovative nanophotonics devices :
    • a pulsed polariton laser
    • a visible frequency comb
    • a polaritonic optical isolator
  • Partners :
    • L2C, Montpellier
    • CRHEA, Sophia Antipolis
    • C2N, Saclay
    • Institut Pascal, Clermont-Ferrand
    • Thales-TRT, Palaiseau
    • Inphyni, Nice
    • INL, Lyon

The foreseen devices exploit optical nonlinearities at moderate photon numbers based on a strong optical nonlinearity within transparency (whole visible and NIR) and polaritons near exciton resonances (blue-violet). Such interacting photons give rise to so-called « fluids of light ». This translates into a reduction of the device footprint (10-100µm nonlinearity length scale/resonator size), compatible with integrated photonics.

The design and demonstration of such nanophotonic devices will be based on some of the numerous building blocks developed within the consortium during the past ten years (high Q resonators, SHG, microdisk lasers, critical coupling to a bus waveguide), as well as original concepts at the frontier of frequency conversion, soliton physics, topological photonics and frequency combs.
The generation of frequency combs in the visible spectral range is expected to have a strong impact on metrology, spectroscopy and optical sensing. It is presently mostly explored starting from a NIR pump laser due to the transparency range of investigated glass and SiN resonators . Here we propose smaller resonators directly pumped in the visible spectral range, and exploiting the transparency of AlN and GaN waveguides, and engineering their modal dispersion. This would lead to a compact source of visible frequency combs. We also explore the possibility of building electrically-injected pulsed polariton lasers based on the waveguide geometry, and to combine it with a topological photonic design in order to realise a topological laser (in connection with the Newave ANR program, 2022-2025).
Overall, we will realize compact nonlinear photonic devices spanning applications from the UV to the NIR and susceptible of being integrated into one and the same platform based on nitride materials.

This project is part of the Labex Ganext. You may visit the project webpage there.