Design and applications of optical microsphere resonators

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Doctoral thesis (article-based)
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46, [40]
Helsinki University of Technology publications in engineering physics. A, 821
Microscopic spherical silica particles, as small as 0.1 mm in diameter, can function as optical whispering-gallery-mode resonators supporting Q-values of 108 and beyond. Such enormously high quality factors represent unique performance characteristics: an extremely narrow resonant linewidth, long decay time and a high energy density. Envisioned uses for these miniature high-Q resonators include, for example, cavity-QED experimentation, detection and sensing, frequency stabilization, and optical filtering functions. Until recently, the primary obstacle discouraging applications-oriented development of microsphere resonators has been the fundamental novelty of the various fabrication and handling processes involved – especially in the construction of the advanced optical couplers necessary for efficient sphere mode excitation. In this thesis, novel coupler designs and fabrication methods are presented. New microsphere resonator applications are demonstrated as well, including a narrow-band wavelength-drop device and an acceleration sensor. The most important invention is the antiresonant waveguide coupler, SPARROW, which allows inexpensive and consistent wafer-based fabrication of very efficient microsphere coupling tools.
microsphere, optical resonator, whispering-gallery mode
  • Little B. E., Laine J. P. and Chu S. T., 1997. Surface-Roughness-Induced Contradirectional Coupling in Ring and Disk Resonators. Optics Letters 22, pages 4-6.
  • Little B. E., Laine J. P. and Haus H. A., 1999. Analytic Theory of Coupling from Tapered Fibers and Half-Blocks into Microsphere Resonators. Journal of Lightwave Technology 17, pages 704-715.
  • Laine J. P., Little B. E. and Haus H. A., 1999. Etch-Eroded Fiber Coupler for Whispering-Gallery-Mode Excitation in High-Q Silica Microspheres. IEEE Photonics Technology Letters 11, pages 1429-1430.
  • Little B. E., Laine J. P., Lim D. R., Haus H. A., Kimerling L. C. and Chu S. T., 2000. Pedestal Antiresonant Reflecting Waveguides for Robust Coupling to Microsphere Resonators and for Microphotonic Circuits. Optics Letters 25, pages 73-75.
  • Laine J. P., Little B. E., Lim D. R., Tapalian H. C., Kimerling L. C. and Haus H. A., 2000. Microsphere Resonator Mode Characterization by Pedestal Anti-Resonant Reflecting Waveguide Coupler. IEEE Photonics Technology Letters 12, pages 1004-1006.
  • Laine J. P., Little B. E., Lim D. R., Tapalian H. C., Kimerling L. C. and Haus H. A., 2000. Planar Integrated Wavelength-Drop Device Based on Pedestal Antiresonant Reflecting Waveguides and High-Q Silica Microspheres. Optics Letters 25, pages 1636-1638.
  • Laine J. P., Tapalian H. C., Little B. E. and Haus H. A., 2001. Acceleration Sensor Based on High-Q Optical Microsphere Resonator and Pedestal Antiresonant Reflecting Waveguide Coupler. Sensors and Actuators A 93, pages 1-7.
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