Abstract

There are two standard methods for controlling the group velocity of light. One makes use of the dispersive properties associated with the resonance structure of a material medium. The other makes use of structural resonances, such as those that occur in photonic crystals. Both procedures have proved useful in a variety of situations. In this work we contrast these two approaches, especially in terms of issues such as the kinematics of energy flow though the system and the resulting implications for the behavior of nonlinear optical processes in these situations. Stated differently, this paper addresses the question of when nonlinear optical processes are enhanced through use of slow-light interactions and when they are not.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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