Nonlinear etalons and nonlinear waveguides as decision-making elements in photonic switching.
AdvisorGibbs, Hyatt M.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThis dissertation describes our recent results in the study of various types of photonic switches. Special attention is given to the devices with Fabry-Perot etalon or planar waveguide structures based on dispersive optical nonlinearities. Basic optical logic functions, such as digital pattern recognition, symbolic substitution, and all-optical compare-and-exchange operation are demonstrated using ZnS and ZnSe nonlinear interference filters. Differential gain, cascading, and optical latching circuits are demonstrated using GaAs/AlGaAs multiple-quantum-well nonlinear etalons that are compatible with diode-laser sources, and the relationship between differential gain and device response time is established through a thorough investigation of the switching dynamics. Preliminary results also indicate that optical fibers can be used as interconnects between optical logic gates. Picosecond all-optical switching with good (> 3:1) contrast is demonstrated for the first time in single-mode strip-loaded GaAs/AlGaAs nonlinear directional couplers (NLDC's). The anisotropy of quantum-well structure to light polarization is used to achieve polarization-dependent two-beam switching, and the optical Stark effect is used to demonstrate all-optical modulation in an NLDC with subpicosecond recovery time.
Degree ProgramOptical Sciences