Optical nonlinearities give rise to many ubiquitous effects in optical fibers. These effects are interesting in themselves and can be detrimental in optical communications, but they also have many useful applications, especially for the implementation of all-optical functionalities in optical networks. In the present paper, we briefly review the different kinds of optical nonlinearities encountered in fibers, pointing out the essential material and fiber parameters that determine them. We describe the effects produced by each kind of nonlinearity, emphasizing their variations for different values of essential parameters. Throughout the paper, we refer to recent systems applications in which these effects have been dealt with or exploited.
© 2005 IEEEPDF Article