Confining light on a chip:

the science of optical microresonators

Like a tuning fork for light, optical resonators have a characteristic set of frequencies at which it is possible to confine light waves. At these frequencies, optical energy can be efficiently stored for lengths of time characterized by the resonator Q factor, roughly the storage time in cycles of oscillation.

In the last ten years there has been remarkable progress in boosting this storage time in micro and millimeter-scale optical resonators. Chip-based devices have attained Q factors of nearly 1 billion and micro-machined crystalline devices have achieved Qs exceeding 100 billion. 

The long, energy-storage time and small form factor of these ultra-high-Q (UHQ) resonators enable access to an amazingly wide range of nonlinear phenomena and creation of laser devices with remarkable properties. Also, new science results from radiation-pressure coupling of optical and mechanical degrees-of-freedom in the resonators themselves.

We have created the highest Q-factor chip-based resonators and also launched many of the subjects of study in this field. 

Our mission is to explore UHQ physics, investigate applications and create integrated UHQ systems.

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Microresonators
Photomicrograph of whispering gallery optical resonators on a silicon wafer. These resonators have Q factors of nearly 1 billion, the current record for chip-based devices.
Credit: Hansuek Lee