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An ultrafast all-optical gate

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4 Author(s)
Lattes, A. ; MIT Lincoln Lab., Lexington, MA, USA ; Haus, H. ; Leonberger, F.J. ; Ippen, E.P.

We present a new ultrafast optical waveguide gate based on a nonlinear optical interaction in a waveguide interferometer. A train of signal pulses is gated by control pulses which change the refractive index in only one arm of the interferometer. The principle of operation is demonstrated using a modified Mach-Zehnder interferometer, 2 cm long, fabricated in a LiNbO3substrate. The experiments were performed with a near-infrared dye laser which produced 5 ps pulses at \lambda = 840 nm. A maximum modulation on the order of 10-3was obtained for a peak control power of 2 W. Experimentally, we determined the appropriate nonlinear coefficient of LiNbO3to be n_{2} = 3 \times 10^{-9} (MW/cm2)-1. As possible applications of the structure we describe an all-optical inverter, an XOR gate, and an AND gate. We conclude with a brief description of a random number generator encoder and decoder based on a few all-optical logic gates.

Published in:

Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:19 ,  Issue: 11 )