In this optical configuration, the resonator was incorporated into one arm of a Mach-Zehnder interferometer, which was necessary for the following reasons: It was found that when the output of the resonator was sent directly to a fast photodiode, the output of the photodiode did not include a measurable microwave signal. However, when the resonator was placed in an arm of the interferometer and the delay in the other arm was set at the correct value, the microwave signal appeared. Such behavior is distinctly characteristic of phase-modulated light.
The phase-modulation signal had a frequency of about 8 GHz, corresponding to the free spectral range of the resonator. The spectral width of this microwave signal was less than 200 Hz. The threshold pump power for generating the microwave signal was about 1 mW. It would be possible to reduce the threshold power by several orders of magnitude if resonators could be made from crystalline materials in dimensions comparable to those of microresonators heretofore made from fused silica.
This work was done by Lute Maleki, Andrey Matsko, Anatoliy Savchenkov, and Dmitry Strekalov of Caltech for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Electronics/Computers category.
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