Abstract

Brillouin optomechanics has recently emerged as a promising tool to implement new functionalities in silicon photonics, including high-performance opto-RF processing and nonreciprocal light propagation. One key challenge in this field is to maximize the photon–phonon interaction and the phonon lifetime, simultaneously. Here, we propose a new, to the best of our knowledge, strategy that exploits subwavelength engineering of the photonic and phononic modes in silicon membrane waveguides to maximize the Brillouin gain. By properly designing the dimensions of the subwavelength periodic structuration, we tightly confine near-infrared photons and GHz phonons, minimizing leakage losses and maximizing the Brillouin coupling. Our theoretical analysis predicts a high mechanical quality factor of up to 700 and a remarkable Brillouin gain yielding ${{3500 }}\;{({{\rm{W}} \cdot {\rm{m}}})^{- 1}}$ for minimum feature size of 50 nm, compatible with electron-beam lithography. We believe that the proposed waveguide with subwavelength nanostructure holds great potential for the engineering of Brillouin optomechanical interactions in silicon.

© 2020 Optical Society of America

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