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Optical signal processing using nonlinear semiconductor microring resonators

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6 Author(s)
Van, V. ; Lab. for Phys. Sci., College Park, MD, USA ; Ibrahim, T.A. ; Absil, P.P. ; Johnson, F.G.
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Recent fabrication advances have enabled compact semiconductor microring resonators to be fabricated with high-finesse values and picosecond cavity lifetimes. These devices have potential applications in optical signal processing as all-optical switches, multiplexers and logic gates. Theoretical analysis shows a maximum reduction in the switching power proportional to the fourth power of the field enhancement in the microring. An enhancement in the wavelength conversion efficiency by four-wave mixing which is proportional to the eighth power of the field enhancement is also predicted and experimentally confirmed. Experimental results demonstrating bistability, picosecond switching using pump and probe excitation, optical time-division demultiplexing, spatial pulse routing and four-wave mixing in GaAs-AlGaAs microring resonators are reported. Apart from the bistable response, which was thermally induced, the nonlinear effects observed in the microrings were caused by the two-photon absorption process. Applications of microrings to realize all-optical logic gates are also proposed

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Selected Topics in Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:8 ,  Issue: 3 )