NONLINEAR GUIDED WAVES AND NONLINEAR PRISM COUPLING IN THIN FILM WAVEGUIDES WITH LIQUID-CRYSTAL CLADDING.
AuthorVALERA ROBLES, JESUS DANIEL.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe rigorous descriptions of linear and nonlinear guided wave theory are given together with a geometrical description that helps in the understanding of the physical phenomena taking place. The nonlinear waveguide discussed in this dissertation is composed of a linear thin film and substrate with a cladding material whose refractive index varies with the intensity of the light. Experimentally, this was accomplished, by placing an oriented liquid crystal (highly nonlinear but extremely slow) on top of a thin film glass waveguide. When the liquid crystal used was K15, light-induced mode cutoff was observed. The TE(,0) mode became leaky as the guided wave power was increased. This was a consequence of the light-induced increase in refractive index due to thermal effects. This behaviour was studied as a function of temperature. Light by light modulation was also accomplished with this setup. The theory of the linear and nonlinear prism coupler and the first experimental investigations on the nonlinear prism coupler are given. The nonlinear prism coupler used was obtained by depositing a small amount of MBBA liquid crystal in the gap beween the input coupling prism and the thin film. The basic properties of the nonlinear prism coupler were demonstrated experimentally and the results obtained were verified to have their origin in the temperature component of the nonlinear index of refraction. Good qualitative agreement between the theory developed and experiments were obtained. Bistability and switching in a thin film waveguide with a K18 liquid crystal cladding has been demonstrated for the first time. These experiments made use of the interesting phenomena associated with the nematic to isotropic phase transition. Such behaviour was satisfactorily explained by the intense light scattering associated with the critical opalescence that accompanies such a phase transition in a liquid crystal. Both the TE(,0) and the TM(,0) modes were found to exhibit such behaviour.
Degree ProgramOptical Sciences