Abstract

The ability to manipulate the speed of light has recently become one of the most exciting emergent topics in optics. There are several experimental demonstrations showing the capability to slow down light more than six orders of magnitude in a variety of media, ranging from atomic vapor, solid state crystal, to semiconductors. These results have led to intensive research into new materials, devices, and system studies that examine their impact to new applications. It is believed that we are on the verge of a dramatic change in the way we envision and construct communication, processing and control systems. One direct application of slow and fast light devices is in the area of communications. One grand challenge remaining in information technology today is to store and buffer optical signals directly in optical format. As such, optical signals must be converted to electronic signals to route, switch, or be processed. This resulted in significant latencies and traffic congestions in current networks. In addition, keeping the data in optical domain during the routing process can greatly reduce the power, complexity and size of the routers. To this end, a controllable optical delay line can effectively function as an optical buffer, and the storage is proportional to the variability of the group velocity. In addition to optical buffers, slow and fast light devices can be used as tunable true-time delay elements in microwave photonics, which are important for remotely controlling phased array antenna. Other novel applications include nonlinear optics, optical signal processing, and quantum information processing. There are various approaches that can be used to vary the optical group velocity. Ultraslow or fast group velocity may result from a large material dispersion, waveguide dispersion, or both. In this paper, the authors provide a review of recent progress of slow and fast light using semiconductor devices. Specifically, they will discuss results obtained using semiconductor quantum-well/quantum-dot absorber and optical amplifiers. Slow and fast light are controllable electrically by changing the bias current or voltage as well as optically by changing the pump laser intensity and wavelength. Delay-bandwidth tradeoff and other figures of merits are analyzed.

© 2006 IEEE

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Appl. Phys. Lett. (1)

H. Su, S. L. Chuang, "Room temperature slow and fast light in quantum dot semiconductor optical amplifiers," Appl. Phys. Lett. 88, 061102-1-061102-3 (2006).

Appl. Phys. Lett. (1)

P. Palinginis, S. Crankshaw, F. Sedgwick, E.-T. Kim, M. Moewe, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, H. Wang, S. L. Chuang, "Ultraslow light ($<$ 200 m/s) propagation in a semiconductor nanostructure," Appl. Phys. Lett. 87, 171102 (2005).

Appl. Phys. Lett. (1)

S. Minin, M. Fisher, S. L. Chuang, "Current-controlled group delay using a semiconductor Fabry–Pérot amplifier," Appl. Phys. Lett. 84, 3238-3240 (2004).

Electron. Lett. (4)

R. S. Tucker, P.-C. Ku, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, "Delay-bandwidth product and storage density in slow-light optical buffers," Electron. Lett. 41, 61 (2005).

F. G. Sedgwick, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, P.-C. Ku, R. S. Tucker, "Storage-bit-rate product in slow-light optical buffers," Electron. Lett. 41, 1347-1348 (2005).

P.-C. Ku, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, S. L. Chuang, "Variable semiconductor all-optical buffer," Electron. Lett. 38, 1581-1583 (2002).

A. V. Uskov, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, "Slow and superluminal light in semiconductor optical amplifiers," Electron. Lett. 41, 55-56 (2005).

IEEE J. Quantum Electron. (1)

M. R. Fisher, S. L. Chuang, "Variable group delay and pulse reshaping of high bandwidth optical signals," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 41, 885-891 (2005).

IEEE J. Quantum Electron. (2)

G. Lenz, B. J. Eggleton, C. K. Madsen, R. E. Slusher, "Optical delay lines based on optical filters," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 37, 525-532 (2001).

T. Mukai, T. Saitoh, "Detuning characteristics and conversion efficiency of nearly degenerate four-wave-mixing in a 1.5-$\mu\hbox{m}$ traveling-wave semiconductor-laser amplifier," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. 26, 865-875 (1990).

IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. (1)

M. R. Fisher, S. Minin, S. L. Chuang, "Tunable optical group delay in an active waveguide semiconductor resonator," IEEE J. Sel. Topics Quantum Electron. 11, 197-203 (2005).

IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. (1)

A. Uskov, F. Sedgwick, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, "Delay limit of slow light in semiconductor optical amplifiers," IEEE Photon. Technol. Lett. 18, 73-733 (2006).

J. Opt. Soc. Amer. B, Opt. Phys. (1)

D. S. Chemla, D. A. B. Miller, "Room-temperature excitonic nonlinear-optical effects in semiconductor quantum-well structures," J. Opt. Soc. Amer. B, Opt. Phys. 2, 1155 (1985).

J. Lightw. Technol. (1)

R. S. Tucker, P.-C. Ku, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, "Slow-light optical buffers: Capabilities and fundamental limitations," J. Lightw. Technol. 23, 4046 (2005).

J. Opt. Soc. Amer. B, Opt. Phys. (2)

G. P. Agrawal, "Population pulsations and nondegenerate four-wave mixing in semiconductor-lasers and amplifiers," J. Opt. Soc. Amer. B, Opt. Phys. 5, 147-159 (1988).

J. B. Khurgin, "Optical buffers based on slow light in electromagnetically induced transparent media and coupled resonator structures: Comparative analysis," J. Opt. Soc. Amer. B, Opt. Phys. 22, 1062-1073 (2005).

J. Phys., Condens. Matter (1)

J. Kim, S. L. Chuang, P.-C. Ku, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, "Slow light using semiconductor quantum dots," J. Phys., Condens. Matter 16, S3727-S3735 (2004).

Nature (1)

C. Liu, Z. Dutton, C. H. Behroozi, L. V. Hau, "Observation of coherent optical information storage in an atomic medium using halted light pulses," Nature 409, 490-493 (2001).

Opt. Express (2)

H. Su, S. L. Chuang, "Variable optical delay using population oscillation and four-wave-mixing in semiconductor optical amplifiers," Opt. Express 14, 4800-4807 (2006).

X. Zhao, Y. Zhou, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, W. Hofmann, M. C. Amann, "Novel modulated-master injection-locked 1.55-$\mu\hbox{m}$ VCSELs," Opt. Express 14, 10 500-10 507 (2006).

Opt. Lett. (2)

P.-C. Ku, F. Sedgwick, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, P. Palinginis, T. Li, H. Wang, S.-W. Chang, S. L. Chuang, "Slow light in semiconductor quantum wells," Opt. Lett. 29, 2291-2293 (2004).

A. Yariv, Y. Xu, R. K. Lee, A. Scherer, "Coupled-resonator optical waveguide: A proposal and analysis," Opt. Lett. 24, 711-713 (1999).

Opt. Express (6)

Opt. Lett. (1)

Phys. Rev. Lett. (1)

M. S. Bigelow, N. N. Lepeshkin, R. W. Boyd, "Observation of ultraslow light propagation in a ruby crystal at room temperature," Phys. Rev. Lett. 90, 113 903 (2003).

Phys. Rev A, Gen. Phys. (1)

R. W. Boyd, D. J. Gauthier, A. L. Gaeta, A. E. Willner, "Maximum time delay achievable on propagation through a slow—light medium," Phys. Rev A, Gen. Phys. 71, 023801 (2005).

Phys. Rev. B, Condens. Matter (1)

S. W. Chang, S. L. Chuang, P.-C. Ku, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, P. Palinginis, H. Wang, "Slow light using excitonic population pulsation," Phys. Rev. B, Condens. Matter 70, 235333-1-235333-11 (2004).

Phys. Rev. Lett. (2)

Y. Okawachi, M. S. Bigelow, J. E. Sharping, Z. Zhu, A. Schweinsberg, D. J. Gauthier, R. W. Boyd, A. L. Gaeta, "Tunable all-optical delays via Brillouin slow light in an optical fiber," Phys. Rev. Lett. 94, 153 902 (2005).

H. Wang, M. Jiang, D. G. Steel, "Measurement of phonon-assisted migration of localized excitons in GaAs/AlGaAs multiple-quantum-well structures," Phys. Rev. Lett. 65, 1255 (1990).

Proc. IEEE (1)

C. J. Chang-Hasnain, P.-C. Ku, J. Kim, S. L. Chuang, "Variable optical buffer using slow light in semiconductor nanostructures," Proc. IEEE 9, 1884 (2003).

Proc. SPIE (1)

A. E. Willner, L. Zhang, T. Luo, C. Yu, W. Zhang, Y. Wang, "Data bit distortion induced by slow light in optical communication systems," Proc. SPIE 6130, 61300T-1 (2006).

Other (8)

H. Su, P. K. Kondratko, S. L. Chuang, "Electrically and optically controllable optical delay in a quantum-well semiconductor optical amplifier," Proc. Quantum Electron. and Lasers Sci. (2006).

B. Pesala, Z. Chen, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, "Tunable pulse delay demonstration using four-wave mixing in semiconductor optical amplifiers," Proc. OSA Top. Meeting Slow and Fast Light (2006) pp. 86.

P.-C. Ku, C. J. Chang-Hasnain, J. Kim, S. L. Chuang, "Semiconductor all-optical buffers using quantum dots in resonator structures," Proc. Opt. Fiber Commun. Conf. (2003) pp. 76-78.

S. L. Chuang, S. W. Chang, H. Su, "Slow light using semiconductor quantum wells and quantum dots for future optical networks," Proc. Int. Conf. SSDM (2005).

H. Haug, S. W. Koch, Quantum Theory of the Optical and Electronic Properties of Semiconductors (World Scientific, 1994).

D. Derickson, Fiber Optics Test and Measurement (Prentice-Hall, 1998).

P. K. Kondratko, H. Su, S. L. Chuang, "Room temperature variable slow light using semiconductor quantum dots," Proc. CLEO (2006).

P. K. Kondratko, S. W. Chang, H. Su, S. L. Chuang, "Variable slow light using coherent population oscillation in quantum-dot electroabsorption modulator," Proc. OSA Top. Meeting Slow and Fast Light (2006) pp. 78.

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