Split-disk micro-lasers: Tunable whispering gallery mode cavities
T. Siegle, M. Remmel, S. Krämmer, and H. Kalt
APL Photonics 2, 096103 (2017)
Optical micro-cavities of various types have emerged as promising photonic structures, for both the investigation of fundamental science in cavity quantum electrodynamics and simultaneously for various applications, e.g., lasers, filters, or modulators. In either branch a demand for adjustable and tunable photonic devices becomes apparent, which has been mainly based on the modification of the refractive index of the micro-resonators so far. In this paper, we report on a novel type of whispering gallery mode resonator where resonance tuning is achieved by modification of the configuration. This is realized by polymeric split-disks consisting of opposing half-disks with an intermediate air gap. Functionality of the split-disk concept and its figures of merit like low-threshold lasing are demonstrated for laser dye-doped split-disks fabricated by electron beam lithography on Si substrates. Reversible resonance tuning is achieved for split-disks structured onto elastomeric substrates by direct laser writing. The gap width and hence the resonance wavelength can be well-controlled by mechanically stretching the elastomer and exploiting the lateral shrinkage of the substrate. We demonstrate a broad spectral tunability of laser modes by more than three times the free spectral range. These cavities have the potential to form a key element of flexible and tunable photonic circuits based on polymers.