Bidirectional interconversion of microwave and light with thin-film lithium niobate

Yuntao Xu, Ayed Al Sayem, Linran Fan, Chang Ling Zou, Sihao Wang, Risheng Cheng, Wei Fu, Likai Yang, Mingrui Xu, Hong X. Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Scopus citations


Superconducting cavity electro-optics presents a promising route to coherently convert microwave and optical photons and distribute quantum entanglement between superconducting circuits over long-distance. Strong Pockels nonlinearity and high-performance optical cavity are the prerequisites for high conversion efficiency. Thin-film lithium niobate (TFLN) offers these desired characteristics. Despite significant recent progresses, only unidirectional conversion with efficiencies on the order of 10−5 has been realized. In this article, we demonstrate the bidirectional electro-optic conversion in TFLN-superconductor hybrid system, with conversion efficiency improved by more than three orders of magnitude. Our air-clad device architecture boosts the sustainable intracavity pump power at cryogenic temperatures by suppressing the prominent photorefractive effect that limits cryogenic performance of TFLN, and reaches an efficiency of 1.02% (internal efficiency of 15.2%). This work firmly establishes the TFLN-superconductor hybrid EO system as a highly competitive transduction platform for future quantum network applications.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number4453
JournalNature communications
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 1 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Chemistry
  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology
  • General Physics and Astronomy


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