Prospects And Challenges For Waveguide Nonlinear Optical Materials

Nonlinear optics has emerged in the last decade from a basic science discipline that requires large, high power lasers for implementation, to a focus for a number of potential technologies in the information processing area that can be implemented with diode lasers. This rapid transition has been spurred on by two important factors. First, waveguide technology has been developed to the point that high intensities can be maintained over centimeter propagation distances with low losses in interesting (i.e., useful) nonlinear media. Second, new materials and new ways to use existing materials have both been invented. Developing these technologies to their ultimate limits can lead to (1) doublers, and parametric devices in general with sub-milliwatt input powers, and to (2) femtosecond, all-optical switching, logic, etc. devices implemented with tens of milliwatts.

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