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An experimental and numerical study of nonlinear dynamical effects is presented using a corrugated silicon‐on‐insulator waveguide as a model structure. The advantages of the material used and the fabrication of the grating structures are discussed. The dynamics studied include optical bistability, optical switching at low intensities, and unstable behavior at higher pulse energies. The effects of both the free‐carrier decay and lattice heating on the dynamics are assessed.