Globally Stable Microresonator Turing Pattern Formation for Coherent High-Power THz Radiation On-Chip
In nonlinear microresonators driven by continuous-wave (cw) lasers, Turing patterns have been studied in the formalism of the Lugiato-Lefever equation with emphasis on their high coherence and exceptional robustness against perturbations. Destabilization of Turing patterns and the transition to spatiotemporal chaos, however, limit the available energy carried in the Turing rolls and prevent further harvest of their high coherence and robustness to noise. Here, we report a novel scheme to circumvent such destabilization, by incorporating the effect of local mode hybridizations, and we attain globally stable Turing pattern formation in chip-scale nonlinear oscillators with significantly enlarged parameter space, achieving a record-high power-conversion efficiency of 45% and an elevated peak-to-valley contrast of 100. The stationary Turing pattern is discretely tunable across 430 GHz on a THz carrier, with a fractional frequency sideband nonuniformity measured at 7.3 ×10-14 . We demonstrate the simultaneous microwave and optical coherence of the Turing rolls at different evolution stages through ultrafast optical correlation techniques. The free-running Turing-roll coherence, 9 kHz in 200 ms and 160 kHz in 20 minutes, is transferred onto a plasmonic photomixer for one of the highest-power THz coherent generations at room temperature, with 1.1% optical-to-THz power conversion. Its long-term stability can be further improved by more than 2 orders of magnitude, reaching an Allan deviation of 6 ×10-10 at 100 s, with a simple computer-aided slow feedback control. The demonstrated on-chip coherent high-power Turing-THz system is promising to find applications in astrophysics, medical imaging, and wireless communications.