Photonic Microresonators Created by Slow Optical Cooking

Gabriella Gardosi, Brian J. Mangan, Gabe S. Puc, Michael Sumetsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Silica and water are known as exceptionally inert chemical materials whose interaction is not completely understood. Here we show that the effect of this interaction can be significantly enhanced by optical whispering gallery modes (WGMs) propagating in a silica microcapillary filled with water. Our experiments demonstrate that WGMs, which evanescently heat liquid water over several hours, induce permanent alterations in silica material characterized by the subnanometer variation of the WGM spectrum. We use the discovered effect to fabricate optical WGM microresonators having potential applications in optical signal processing and microfluidic sensing. Our results pave the way for the ultraprecise fabrication of resonant optical microdevices and the ultra-accurate characterization of physical and chemical processes at solid-liquid interfaces.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)436–442
Number of pages7
JournalACS Photonics
Issue number2
Early online date14 Jan 2021
Publication statusPublished - 17 Feb 2021

Bibliographical note

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Funding: The authors acknowledge funding from Engineering and
Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) under Grant
EP/P006183/1 and Wolfson Foundation under Grant 22069


  • optical microresonators
  • silica-water interface
  • surface nanoscale photonics
  • whispering gallery modes


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