Abstract

We demonstrate a monolithic optical whispering-gallery-mode resonator fabricated with barium fluoride (BaF2) with an ultra-high quality (Q) factor above 109 at 1550 nm, and measured with both the linewidth and cavity-ring-down methods. Vertical scanning optical profilometry shows that the root mean square surface roughness of 2 nm is achieved for our mm-size disk. To the best of our knowledge, we show for the first time that one billion Q-factor is achievable by precision polishing in relatively soft crystals with mohs hardness of 3. We show that complex thermo-optical dynamics can take place in these resonators. Beside usual applications in nonlinear optics and microwave photonics, high-energy particle scintillation detection utilizing monolithic BaF2 resonators potentially becomes feasible.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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