Photo-induced second-order nonlinearity in stoichiometric silicon nitride waveguides

M.A. Garcia Porcel, Jesse Mak, Caterina Taballione, Victoria Schermerhorn, J.P. Epping, P.J.M. van der Slot, Klaus J. Boller

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We report the observation of second-harmonic generation (SHG) in stoichiometric silicon nitride waveguides grown via low-pressure chemical vapor deposition (LPCVD). Quasi-rectangular waveguides with a large cross section were used, with a height of 1 µm and various different widths, from 0.6 to 1.2 µm, and with various lengths from 22 to 74 mm. Using a mode-locked laser delivering 6-ps pulses at 1064 nm wavelength with a repetition rate of 20 MHz, 15% of the incoming power was coupled through the waveguide, making maximum average powers of up to 15 mW available in the waveguide depending on the waveguide cross section. Second-harmonic output was observed with a delay of minutes to several hours after the initial turn-on of pump radiation, showing a fast growth rate between 10−4 to 10−2 s−1, with the shortest delay and highest growth rate at the highest input power. After this first, initial build-up (observed delay and growth), the second-harmonic became generated instantly with each new turn-on of the pump laser power. Phase matching was found to be present independent of the used waveguide width, although the latter changes the fundamental and second-harmonic phase velocities. We address the presence of a second-order nonlinearity and phase matching, involving an initial, power-dependent build-up, to the coherent photogalvanic effect. The effect, via the third-order nonlinearity and multiphoton absorption leads to a spatially patterned charge separation, which generates a spatially periodic, semi-permanent, DC-field-induced second-order susceptibility with a period that is appropriate for quasi-phase matching. The maximum measured second-harmonic conversion efficiency amounts to 0.4% in a waveguide with 0.9 × 1 µm2 cross section and 36 mm length, corresponding to 53 µW at 532 nm with 13 mW of IR input coupled into the waveguide. The maximum equivalent χ(2)-susceptibility amounts to 3.7 pm/V, as retrieved from the measured conversion efficiency.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)33143-33159
JournalOptics express
Issue number26
Publication statusPublished - 20 Dec 2017


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