Shedding a light on synthetic dimensions – Archyde

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A ring resonator fabricated using silicon photonics and internally modulated creates a frequency ladder. Photo credit: Yokohama National University

Humans experience the world in three dimensions, but a collaboration in Japan has devised a way to create synthetic dimensions to better understand the fundamental laws of the universe and potentially apply them to advanced technologies.

They published their findings on January 28, 2022 in scientific advances.

“The concept of dimensionality has become a central part of various areas of contemporary physics and technology in recent years,” said the paper’s author, Toshihiko Baba, a professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Yokohama National University. “While investigations into low-dimensional materials and structures have been fruitful, rapid advances in topology have uncovered a further plethora of potentially useful phenomena that depend on the system’s dimensionality and even go beyond the three spatial dimensions available in the world around us.”

Topology refers to an extension of geometry that mathematically describes spaces whose properties are preserved in continuous distortion, such as B. the rotation of a Möbius strip. Combined with light, these physical spaces can be directed, according to Baba, to allow researchers to evoke highly complicated phenomena.

Im real world, from a line to a square to a cube, each dimension provides more information and also requires more knowledge to describe accurately. In topological photonics, researchers can create additional dimensions of a system that allow more degrees of freedom and diverse manipulations of properties that were previously inaccessible.

“Synthetic dimensions have made it possible to leverage higher-dimensional concepts in lower-dimensional devices with reduced complexity and to advance critical device functions such as on-chip optical isolation,” Baba said.

Researchers fabricated a synthetic dimension on a silicon ring resonator using the same approach used to build complementary metal-oxide semiconductors (CMOS), a computer chip capable of storing some memory. A ring resonator applies guides to direct lightwaves according to certain parameters, such as B. certain bandwidths to control and share.

According to Baba, the silicon ring resonator photonic device obtained a “comb-like” optical spectrum, resulting in coupled modes that conformed to a one-dimensional model. In other words, the device produced a measurable property – a synthetic dimension – that allowed researchers to derive information about the rest of the system.

While the developed device comprises one ring, several could be stacked to cascade effects and quickly characterize optical frequency signals.

Crucially, Baba said, even with stacked rings, their platform is much smaller and more compact than previous approaches that used optical fibers connected to various components.

“A more scalable silicon photonics chip platform offers a significant advance as it enables synthetic dimension photonics to benefit from the mature and sophisticated commercial CMOS fabrication toolbox, while providing the means to introduce multidimensional topological phenomena into creating novel device applications,” Baba said.

The flexibility of the system, including the ability to reconfigure it when needed, complements equivalent static spaces in real space, which could help researchers bypass the dimensional limitations of real space to understand phenomena even beyond three dimensions, according to Baba.

“This work demonstrates the possibility that photonics in topological and synthetic dimensions can be practically used with a silicon photonics integration platform,” Baba said. “Next, we plan to gather all the photonic elements of the topological and synthetic dimensions to build a topological integrated circuit.”

Synthetic dimensions enable a new way to construct higher-order topological insulators

More information:

Armandas Balčytis, Synthetic Dimension Band Structures on a Photonic Si-CMOS Platform, scientific advances (2022). DOI: 10.1126 / sciadv.abk0468.

Provided by Yokohama National University

Quote: Shining a light on Synthetic Dimensions (2022, January 28), retrieved January 28, 2022 from

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