Integrated Photonic Topological Cavities For Non-Reciprocal Lasing And Cavities Of Arbitrary Shapes

Tech ID: 29456 / UC Case 2018-021-0


Resonant cavities are essential building blocks governing many wave based phenomena, and, their geometry together with reciprocity, fundamentally limit the integration of optical devices.   Topological lasing has been proposed in two dimensions using arrays of ring resonators with no time-reversal symmetry breaking, and in one-dimensional lattice of polariton micropillars. However, these systems cannot implement cavities of arbitrary shapes due to their preserved time-reversal symmetry. An elusive, but fundamental, implication of topology is the existence of a new class of geometry-independent photonic components. For example, the possibility to construct geometry-independent cavities opens a new paradigm in cavity quantum electro dynamics and photonic integration, as, it enables denser packing of components and sources of arbitrary form-factors. This prospect will alleviate the otherwise stringent constraints to use preset cavities that leave much chip space unused. Topology also naturally addresses the pressing need for non-reciprocal components that protect sources against back scattering.

Technology Description

Researchers at UC San Diego have developed integrated photonic topological cavities for non-reciprocal lasing and cavities of arbitrary shapes. The invention addresses long standing issues in photonic integration as sources can now have arbitrary form-factors. An exemplary embodiment demonstrates, at telecommunication wavelengths, geometry-independent and integrated non-reciprocal topological cavities that couple stimulated emission from one-way photonic edge states to a selected waveguide output with an isolation ratio in excess of 10 dB. The invention would enable: an integrated unidirectional laser that emits the coherent light in one direction, while naturally protects itself from any kind of damage caused by backreflected powers; a laser controllable using EMF, that is by controlling the strength of the EMF, the size of the photonic band gap and thus the amount of the output power of the laser can be controlled. These new capabilities have utility for a broad range of laser applications.


Integrated unidirectional laser that emits the coherent light in one direction, while naturally protects itself from any kind of damage caused by backreflected powers. Controlling the strength of the EMF, we can control the size of the photonic band gap, thus the amount of the output power of the laser.


Current unidirectional lasers use an external (or secondary) component to protect lasers.  This invention is the first in its kind because it does not use any other components to protect itself. A unidirectional emission and self-protection from any backreflected powers are an inherent characteristics of this laser.

State Of Development

A device using conventional fabrication process consisting of ebeam lithography, dry etching, and bonding has been developed.

Intellectual Property Info

This technology is patent pending and available for licensing and/or research sponsorship.

Related Materials

Patent Status

Patent Pending


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Other Information


Lasing, topological cavities, integrated photonics

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