Optothermal dynamics in whispering-gallery microresonators

Xuefeng Jiang, Lan Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

78 Scopus citations


Optical whispering-gallery-mode microresonators with ultrahigh quality factors and small mode volumes have played an important role in modern physics. They have been demonstrated as a diverse platform for a wide range of applications in photonics, such as nonlinear optics, optomechanics, quantum optics, and information processing. Thermal behaviors induced by power build-up in the resonators or environmental perturbations are ubiquitous in high-quality-factor whispering-gallery-mode resonators and have played an important role in their operation for various applications. In this review, we discuss the mechanisms of laser-field-induced thermal nonlinear effects, including thermal bistability and thermal oscillation. With the help of the thermal bistability effect, optothermal spectroscopy and optical nonreciprocity have been demonstrated. By tuning the temperature of the environment, the resonant mode frequency will shift, which can also be used for thermal sensing/tuning applications. The thermal locking technique and thermal imaging mechanisms are discussed briefly. Finally, we review some techniques employed to achieve thermal stability in a high-quality-factor resonator system.

Original languageEnglish
Article number24
JournalLight: Science and Applications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2020


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