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Optical amplification and wavelength conversion in Silicon

Publication date 2011
B-Phot Authors Nathalie Vermeulen, Hugo Thienpont
N. Vermeulen and H. Thienpont, “Optical amplification and wavelength conversion in Silicon,” in Workshop on Interconnections within High Speed Digital Systems, 2011.
Abstract Over the past several years the use of optical nonlinearities in silicon for data communication applications has become a widely researched topic. Silicon is a promising nonlinear optical material that features very high third-order Raman and Kerr susceptibilities. In addition, the tight light confinement established in silicon waveguides further facilitates triggering Raman- and Kerr-based nonlinear effects such as stimulated Stokes Raman scattering, coherent anti-Stokes Raman scattering and Kerr-induced four-wave mixing. These processes have proven to be most useful for amplifying optical signals and for converting wavelengths. In this presentation we discuss the latest progress on Raman- and Kerr-based optical amplification and wavelength conversion in silicon waveguides. Besides addressing various waveguide configurations designed for enhancing the amplification and conversion efficiencies, we discuss new concepts such as “slow-light” Raman amplification and wavelength conversion with “automatic quasi-phase-matching,” and we explain how these concepts can be realized in silicon waveguide structures. Finally, we touch upon the future perspectives in this research area, whereby also the potentialities of operating silicon devices at mid-infrared wavelengths rather than at near-infrared telecommunication wavelengths are discussed.
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