Frequency combs are remarkable photonic devices for precision frequency synthesis and metrology. The core technology behind conventional frequency combs is a mode-locked laser. Today, so-called microcombs constitute an alternative for the generation of a frequency comb on a chip-scale microresonator. Microcombs have a frequency separation between lines that is orders of magnitude larger than standard mode-locked lasers. The combination of small footprint and large line spacing is opening up entirely new scientific and technological opportunities, one of the most prominent ones being optical communications. However, one outstanding problem with microcombs is their fundamentally limited power conversion efficiency, which hampers the potential applications of this otherwise promising technology. In my ERC CoG DarkComb, we have overcome this issue by developing an innovative arrangement of linearly coupled microresonators implemented with an original silicon nitride fabrication process that features ultra-low optical losses. The aim of this ERC PoC is to conduct a yield analysis of our technology, investigate the freedom to operate and pursue a rigorous market evaluation. These results will form the basis for the development of a sound business strategy upon the conclusion of the project.
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.1 - European Research Council (ERC) Main Programme