As self-sustained oscillators, lasers possess the unusual ability to spontaneously synchronize. These nonlinear dynamics are the basis for a simple yet powerful stabilization technique known as injection locking, in which a laser's frequency and phase can be controlled by an injected signal. Because of its inherent simplicity and favorable noise characteristics, injection locking has become a workhorse for coherent amplification and high-fidelity signal synthesis in applications ranging from precision atomic spectroscopy to distributed sensing. Within integrated photonics, however, these injection-locking dynamics remain relatively untapped - despite significant potential for technological and scientific impact. Here, we demonstrate injection locking in a silicon photonic Brillouin laser. Injection locking of this monolithic device is remarkably robust, allowing us to tune the laser emission by a significant fraction of the Brillouin gain bandwidth. Harnessing these dynamics, we demonstrate amplification of small signals by more than 23 dB. Moreover, we demonstrate that the injection-locking dynamics of this system are inherently nonreciprocal, yielding unidirectional control and backscatter immunity in an all-silicon system. This device physics opens the door to strategies for phase-noise reduction, low-noise amplification, and backscatter immunity in silicon photonics.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy(all)