Integrated lithium niobate photonics


Abstract: Lithium niobate (LiNbO3) on insulator (LNOI) is a promising material platform for integrated photonics due to single crystal LiNbO3 film’s wide transparent window, high refractive index, and high second-order nonlinearity. Based on LNOI, the fast-developing ridgewaveguide fabrication techniques enabled various structures, devices, systems, and applications. We review the basic structures including waveguides, cavities, periodically poled LiNbO3, and couplers, along with their fabrication methods and optical properties. Treating those basic structures as building blocks, we review several integrated devices including electro-optic modulators, nonlinear optical devices, and optical frequency combs with each device’s operating mechanism, design principle and methodology, and performance metrics. Starting from these integrated devices, we review how integrated LNOI devices boost the performance of LiNbO3’s traditional applications in optical communications and data center, integrated microwave photonics, and quantum optics. Beyond those traditional applications, we also review integrated LNOI devices’ novel applications in metrology including ranging system and frequency comb spectroscopy. Finally, we envision integrated LNOI photonics’ potential in revolutionizing nonlinear and quantum optics, optical computing and signal processing, and devices in ultraviolet, visible, and midinfrared regimes. Beyond this outlook, we discuss the challenges in integrated LNOI photonics and the potential solutions.

Keywords: lithium niobate; integrated photonics; waveguide; resonator; electro-optic; nonlinear optics.

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