Microparticle Photonics: Fiber Optic Excitation of MDR’s
A great deal of research has established that spherical microparticles produced on Earth and in Space1 act as extremely high Q (−108) microresonators.2 This property has recently led to the first room temperature spectral hole-burning memory which utilizes an assembly of dielectric polymer microspheres of random size.3’4 Aside from this application of solid particles, the number of nonlinear phenomena which have been demonstrated on liquid droplets such as lasing, third harmonic generation, stimulated Brillouin scattering, stimulated Raman scattering, etc.5 provide sufficient motivation for extending these studies to solid particles on surfaces. The wave geometry responsible for these high Q states (Morphological Dependent Resonances, MDR’s) is of a whispering gallery type, so that the spherical resonator is surrounded by an evanescent tail. Since single mode optical fibers have a nearly Gaussian intensity profile which extends well beyond the core, one might guess that one could excite such a resonance with a particle positioned to the side of such a fiber. In what follows we present the first experiments on the excitation of a microsphere MDR’s by a guided wave in an optical fiber.
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