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Opt Express. 2010 Apr 26;18(9):8998-9005. doi: 10.1364/OE.18.008998.

Optical nonlinearities in hydrogenated-amorphous silicon waveguides.

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Microsystems Engineering, Kate Gleason College of Engineering, Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, New York 14623, USA.


We experimentally measure the optical nonlinearities in hydrogenated-amorphous silicon (a-Si:H) waveguides through the transmission of ultra-short pulses. The measured two-photon absorption coefficient beta is 4.1 cm/GW and we obtain a 3.5pi nonlinear phase shift at 4.1 W coupled input power corresponding to a nonlinear refractive index n(2) of 4.210(-13) cm(2)/W. The measured nonlinear coefficient gamma = 2003 (Wm)(-1) is at least 5 times the value in crystalline silicon. The measured free carrier absorption coefficient sigma = 1.910(-16) cm(2) agrees with the values predicted from the Drude-Lorenz model. It is seen that a-Si:H exhibits enhanced nonlinear properties at 1550 nm and is a promising platform for nonlinear silicon photonics.

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