Photonic crystal waveguides in chalcogenide glasses
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The growing speed and bandwidth requirements of telecommunication systems demand all-optical on-chip solutions. Microphotonic devices can deliver low power nonlinear signal processing solutions. This thesis looks at the slow light photonic crystals in chalcogenide glasses to enhance low power nonlinear operation. I demonstrate the development of new fabrication techniques for this delicate class of materials. Both, reactive ion etching and chemically assisted ion beam etching are investigated for high quality photonic crystal fabrication. A new resist-removal technique was developed for the chemical, mechanical and light sensitive thin films. I have developed a membraning method based on vapor phase etching in combination with the development of a save and economical etching tool that can be used for a variety of vapour phase processes. Dispersion engineered slow light photonic crystals in Ge₃₃As₁₂Se₅₅ are designed and fabricated. The demonstration of low losses down to 21±8dB/cm is a prerequisite for the successful demonstration of dispersion engineered slow light waveguides up to a group index of around n[subscript(g)] ≈ 40. The slow light waveguides are used to demonstrate highly efficient third harmonic generation and the first advantages of a pure chalcogenide system over the commonly used silicon. Ge₁₁.₅As₂₄24Se₆₄.₅ is used for the fabrication of photonic crystal cavities. Quality factors of up to 13000 are demonstrated. The low nonlinear losses have enabled the demonstration of second and third harmonic generation in those cavities with powers up to twice as high as possible in silicon. A computationally efficient model for designing coupled resonator bandpass filters is used to design bandpass filters. Single ring resonators are fabricated using a novel method to define the circular shape of the rings to improve the fabrication quality. The spectral responses of the ring resonators are used to determine the coupling coefficient needed for the design and fabrication of the bandpass filters. A flat top bandpass filter is fabricated and characterized as demonstration of this method. A passive all-optical regenerator is proposed, by integrating a slow-light photonic crystal waveguide with a band-pass filter based on coupled ring resonators. A route of designing the regenerator is proposed by first using the dispersion engineering results for nonlinear pulse propagation and then using the filter responses to calculate the nonlinear transfer function.
Thesis, PhD Doctor of Philosophy
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