High-speed optical communication requires ultrafast all-optical processing and switching capabilities. The Kerr nonlinearity, an ultrafast optical nonlinearity, is often used as the basic switching mechanism. A practical, small device that can be switched with ∼1-pJ energies requires a large Kerr effect with minimal losses (both linear and nonlinear). We have investigated theoretically and experimentally a number of Se-based chalcogenide glasses. We have found a number of compounds with a Kerr nonlinearity hundreds of times larger than silica, making them excellent candidates for ultrafast all-optical devices.
© 2000 Optical Society of America
(160.2750) Materials : Glass and other amorphous materials
(190.3270) Nonlinear optics : Kerr effect
(190.4400) Nonlinear optics : Nonlinear optics, materials
(190.4720) Nonlinear optics : Optical nonlinearities of condensed matter
(320.7080) Ultrafast optics : Ultrafast devices
G. Lenz, J. Zimmermann, T. Katsufuji, M. E. Lines, H. Y. Hwang, S. Spälter, R. E. Slusher, S.-W. Cheong, J.S. Sanghera, and I. D. Aggarwal, "Large Kerr effect in bulk Se-based chalcogenide glasses," Opt. Lett. 25, 254-256 (2000)