DEGENERATE FOUR WAVE MIXING IN THIN FILM OPTICAL WAVEGUIDES (NONLINEAR OPTICS, INTEGRATED, PHASE CONJUGATION, SIGNAL PROCESSING).
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe incentive for conducting Degenerate Four Wave Mixing (DFWM) within guided wave devices is two-fold: (1) By coupling the optical beams into guided wave devices, the optical power densities can be increased orders of magnitude due to the tight confinement of the beams. Such an increase in power density means a concomitant increase in conversion efficiency of the signal beam. (2) The potential signal processing applications of DFWM (logic gates, switching, correlation/convolution), particularly for ultra-fast serial processing, would be better exploited, and adjoined to existing integrated circuit technology, by such an integrated optic/guided wave approach. In this dissertation we describe experiments and present data confirming the presence of DFWM within a planar glass thin film with carbon disulphide as the nonlinear cover medium. Optical pulses from a Q-switched, frequency doubled Nd:YAG laser are coupled into the glass film. The nonlinear polarization required to produce the desired conjugate signal is generated within the CS₂ by the evanescent tails of the guided input beams as they probe the nonlinear cover medium. The signals measured agree well with theory, but because they were so small in magnitude, signal-to noise ratios were small due to stray background radiation scattering from beamsplitters and other associated optics. Additionally, recent studies (Jain & Lind, 1983) indicate nonlinear responses in semiconductor (CdS/Se) doped glasses, commercially available as color glass filters, that are orders of magnitude higher than corresponding nonlinearities within CS₂, in addition to possessing subnanosecond response times. We have performed experiments upon such glasses in an effort to fabricate nonlinear optical waveguides within them via ion-exchange techniques. We have successfully fabricated single mode planar guides, but they are currently too lossy to allow demonstration of any guided wave nonlinearities. Also, we describe experiments in which we have measured (bulk) DFWM grating lifetimes with greater precision than previously reported. Results indicate a fast (20 to 50 pico-seconds, depending on the particular glass) electronic response, superimposed upon, but clearly distinguishable from, a slower (10's of nanoseconds) thermal response.
Degree ProgramOptical Sciences