Ultra-High-Q Surface-Tension-Induced Monolithically Integrated On-Chip Resonator and Associated Devices

Technology #11855

Questions about this technology? Ask a Technology Manager

Download Printable PDF

Image Gallery
Flow graphs demonstrating the fabrication step of the inventive resonator structure using a reflow technique
Professor Lionel Kimerling
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
External Link (photonics.mit.edu)
Juejun Hu
Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
External Link (dmse.mit.edu)
Anuradha Agarwal
Materials Processing Center and Department of Materials Science and Engineering, MIT
External Link (photonics.mit.edu)
Managed By
Jim Freedman
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Chemicals, Instruments, Consumer Products
Patent Protection

Ultra-high-Q surface-tension-induced monolithically integrated on-chip resonator and associated devices

US Patent 7,415,058
Ultra-high-Q toroid microcavity on a chip
Nature , Vol. 421, pp. 925-8 Feb. 27, 2003
On-chip optical isolation in monolithically integrated non-reciprocal optical resonators
Nature Photonics , Vol. 5, pp. 758-62 Nov. 13, 2011
Monolithic integration of chalcogenide glass/iron garnet waveguides and resonators for on-chip nonreciprocal photonic devices
Proc. SPIE 7941, Integrated Optics: Devices, Materials, and Technologies XV, 794105 , Jan. 17, 2011
Planar waveguide-coupled, high-index-contrast, high-Q resonators in chalcogenide glass for sensing
Optics Letters, Vol. 33 (21), pp. 2500-02 Nov. 1, 2008


  • Optical biosensors, switches, filters and attenuators
  • Chalcogenide Glass Mid-IR Laser

Problem Addressed

Optical resonators enhance light-matter interactions, thereby dramatically improving the performance of optical devices. A leading resonator, the surface-tension-induced microcavity (STIM) resonator, is currently an off-chip application, exhibiting poor optical coupling and incompatibility with requisite fabrication processes. Partially on-chip designs exhibit vulnerability to environmental changes, require very precise alignment, and also lack robust optical coupling. 


The invention proposes a fully on-chip resonator with effective coupling to achieve a robust, highly reproducible design suitable for industrial scale applications.The fully on-chip ultra-high-Q resonator device is fabricated with selected glass and polymer materials such as chalcogenides and methods including the thermal reflow technique to achieve an ultra-high-Q-factor. An optical coupling scheme allows for full control of the coupling regime between the on-chip STIM and the optical resonator, the coupling strength, and the resonator’s quality factor. CMOS-compatibility is maintained and this highly reproducible device is readily integrated into applications such as lasers and biosensors.


  • Fully on-chip design maintains CMOS-compatibility, improving system robustness
  • Optical resonator coupling suitable for industrial scale applications
  • Select materials achieve robust design with ultra-high-Q-factor performance