Nonlinear Harmonic Generation and Devices in Multi-resonant Cavities

Technology #13255

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FIGS. 1A-1B are schematic diagrams illustrating a general scheme for third-harmonic generation, and dynamical variables for coupled-mode equations;FIG. 2 is a graph illustrating the steady-state efficiency of third-harmonic generation;  FIG. 3 is a graph illustrating a shift in the resonant frequency as a function of input power, due to self- and cross-phase modulation;FIG. 4 is a phase diagram illustrating the nonlinear dynamics of the inventive doubly-resonant nonlinear harmonic generation system;FIG. 5 is a graph illustrating an example of a limit-cycle solution, with periodically oscillating harmonic-generation efficiency as a function of time;  FIG. 6 is a bifurcation diagram showing the harmonic-generation efficiency of the stable and unstable steady-state solutions as a function of α/β1 for a fixed τ3/τ1;
Professor John Joannopoulos
Department of Physics, MIT
Professor Steven Johnson
Department of Mathematics, MIT
Professor Marin Soljacic
Department of Physics, MIT
Alejandro Rodriguez
Department of Mathematics, MIT
Hila Hashemi
Department of Mathematics, MIT
Managed By
Jim Freedman
MIT Technology Licensing Officer - Chemicals, Instruments, Consumer Products
Patent Protection

Nonlinear harmonic generation and devices in doubly-resonant Kerr cavities

US Patent 8,045,257


This technology has applications in optical clocks, modulator/demodulators, spectroscopy, ultrafast signal processing, high-speed data transmission, digital radar, tomography, and other applications.

Problem Addressed

Efficient nonlinear frequency conversion in waveguides is often hard to achieve because as the input power increases the frequency conversion eventually saturates due to competition between up and down conversion. Therefore, there is a need for optimized harmonic conversion in waveguides.


The invention is a nonlinear harmonic generation system which includes a waveguide channel that receives and propagates electromagnetic signals. In this system, a resonant cavity is coupled to the waveguide channel. This resonant cavity structure includes a plurality of resonant modes into which electromagnetic energy is coupled throughout the operation of the system. This double resonant cavity significantly reduces the required power for the efficient harmonic generation.


  • High-efficiency harmonic conversion solutions with low input power
  • Exhibits a rich variety of nonlinear dynamics (potentially forming optical "clocks" in the GHz-THz regime)