Whispering gallery resonators with broken axial symmetry
Theory and experiment
Axial symmetry is the cornerstone for theory and applications of high-Q optical whispering gallery resonators (WGRs). Nevertheless, research on birefringent crystalline material persistently pushes towards breaking this symmetry. We show theoretically and experimentally that the effect of broken axial symmetry, caused by optical anisotropy, is modest for the resonant frequencies and Q-factors of the WGR modes. Thus, the most important equatorial whispering gallery modes can be quantitatively described and experimentally identified. At the same time, the effect of broken axial symmetry on the light field distribution of the whispering gallery modes is typically very strong. This qualitatively modifies the phase-matching for the CH(2) nonlinear processes and enables broad-band second harmonic generation and optical parametric oscillation. The effect of weak geometric ellipticity in nominally symmetric WGRs is also considered. Altogether our findings pave the way for an extensive use of numerous birefringent (uniaxial and biaxial) crystals with broad transparency window and large CH(2) coefficients in nonlinear optics with WGRs.