We directly investigate both experimentally and numerically the influence of optical nonlinear loss dynamics on a silicon waveguide based all-optical device. The dynamics of these nonlinear losses are explored through the analysis of optical limiting of an amplitude distorted 10 Gbit/s signal in a slow-light silicon photonic crystal waveguide. As the frequency of the distortion approaches the free-carrier recombination rate, free-carrier absorption reaches a steady state, leaving two-photon absorption the dominant dynamic nonlinear loss. Our results highlight the importance of engineering the free-carrier lifetime in silicon waveguides for high speed all-optical processing applications.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: December 10, 2009
Revised Manuscript: February 10, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: February 14, 2010
Published: March 31, 2010
Bill Corcoran, Christelle Monat, Dominik Pudo, Benjamin J. Eggleton, Thomas F. Krauss, David J. Moss, Liam O'Faolain, Mark Pelusi, and Thomas P. White, "Nonlinear loss dynamics in a silicon slow-light photonic crystal waveguide," Opt. Lett. 35, 1073-1075 (2010)