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We review the properties of photonic crystals in III-V materials from the prospective of light-matter interaction enhanced by “slow-light”. We discuss some key functions, namely the generation of a time delay and the nonlinear conversion. Compared to optical fibers, the typical scales, dispersion and nonlinear lengths are reduced to the mm range, thereby opening the possibility of on-chip all optical processing. That has been enabled by the minimisation of linear and nonlinear losses.