Current interest in all-optical waveguide devices has created a need for suitable nonlinear materials and fabrication techniques. To meet this need, we have made optical waveguides using ion exchange in two glasses, which were designed both to have large optical nonlinearities and to be compatible with the ion-exchange processing. We find that the choice of alkali metal ion in the glass has a major effect on the exchange process and on the optical quality of the ensuing guides. Guides made in one of these glasses have been used for demonstrations of spatial soliton propagation, which can be used as the basis of an all-optical switch.
© 1990 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: October 12, 1989
Published: July 20, 1990
Janet L. Jackel, E. M. Vogel, and J. S. Aitchison, "Ion-exchanged optical waveguides for all-optical switching," Appl. Opt. 29, 3126-3129 (1990)