Measurement and application of optical nonlinearities in indium phosphide, cadmium mercury telluride and photonic crystal fibres
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The two-photon absorption (TPA) coefficient is measured in indium phosphide (InP) using femtosecond pulses to be 45cm/GW at 1.32μm. Nanosecond pulses are subsequently used to find the free-carrier refractive index cross-section, σ_r, and the free-carrier absorption coefficient, σ_fca. The quantity βσ_r is measured to be -113x10⁻²ºcm⁴/GW at 1.064μm and -84x10⁻²ºcm⁴/GW at 1.534μm. At 1.064μm, with β assumed to be 22cm/GW, the value suggested by theory, σ_r is -5.1x10⁻²ºcm³. Similarly, at 1.534μm, assuming β to be 20cm/GW gives a σ_r value of -4.1x10⁻²ºcm³. Due to refraction affecting the measurements of σ_fca, only an upper limit of 1x10⁻¹⁵cm² can be put on its value. The free-carrier experiments are repeated on two samples of cadmium mercury telluride (CMT) having bandgaps of 0.89eV and 0.82eV. For the first sample, β_σr is measured to be -148x10⁻²ºcm⁴/GW. Assuming β to be 89cm/GW gives a σ_r value of -1.7x10⁻²ºcm³ whilst σ_fca is found to be at most 3x10⁻¹⁵cm². Significant linear absorption occurs in the second sample which generates a large free-carrier population. It is shown that this significantly enhances the nonlinearities. Finally, the results of the work are tested by modelling a nonlinear transmission experiment, and the results found in this work give a closer fit to experimental results than the result of theory. Four-wave mixing (FWM) in a photonic crystal fibre is exploited to create a high output power optical parametric amplifier (OPA). To optimise the OPA conversion efficiency, the fibre length has to be increased to 150m, well beyond the walk-off distance between the pump and signal/idler. In this regime, the Raman process can take over from the FWM process and lead to supercontinuum generation. The OPA exhibits up to 40% conversion efficiency, with the idler (0.9μm) and the signal (1.3μm) having a combined output power of over 1.5W.
Thesis, DEng Doctor of Engineering
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