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Nonlinear photonics in novel waveguide materials


The development of nonlinear optical devices has greatly benefited from the emergence of strongly confining waveguide structures  which deliver the high optical intensities needed for establishing efficient nonlinear interactions. Besides glass-based optical fibers, also on-chip waveguide structures such as nano-scale silicon waveguides have boosted the efficiency of, amongst others, nonlinear Raman scattering and four-wave mixing experiments. As such, researchers have been able to realize high-performance on-chip broadband light sources and wavelength conversion devices  with application domains ranging from optical signal processing to biophotonics. Although silicon-based photonic components are very promising because of their integration potentialities with silicon electronics, the strong optical losses in silicon in the  near-infrared made researchers consider also other nonlinear materials  to develop such on-chip nonlinear devices.

The goal of this master thesis is to model the nonlinear effects in waveguides based on ‘novel’ nonlinear materials with great promise for on-chip integration. Through these investigations you will gain physical insight in the complex but versatile nonlinear behavior of these novel materials, and as such work towards new nonlinear devices.


Figure: Strongly confining waveguide structures made of various materials


Goals of the work:

  • Numerically implement the field propagation equations for waveguides based on novel nonlinear materials, and calculate the attainable efficiency for wavelength conversion based on nonlinear Raman scattering and four-wave mixing in these waveguides
  • Optimize the design of these waveguides for optimal wavelength conversion, and compare the results to those obtained for ‘standard’ silicon waveguides

Link to webpage or article related to the subject :  http://www.opticsinfobase.org/oe/abstract.cfm?URI=oe-18-3-1904


Contact Affiliation
Hugo Thienpont Promotor
Nathalie Vermeulen Supervisor
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