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Opt Express. 2009 Feb 16;17(4):2944-53.

Slow light enhancement of nonlinear effects in silicon engineered photonic crystal waveguides.

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  • 1Institute of Photonics and Optical Science, Centre for Ultrahigh-bandwidth Devices for Optical Systems, School of Physics, NSW 2006, Australia.


We report nonlinear measurements on 80microm silicon photonic crystal waveguides that are designed to support dispersionless slow light with group velocities between c/20 and c/50. By launching picoseconds pulses into the waveguides and comparing their output spectral signatures, we show how self phase modulation induced spectral broadening is enhanced due to slow light. Comparison of the measurements and numerical simulations of the pulse propagation elucidates the contribution of the various effects that determine the output pulse shape and the waveguide transfer function. In particular, both experimental and simulated results highlight the significant role of two photon absorption and free carriers in the silicon waveguides and their reinforcement in the slow light regime.

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