In this paper, we derive the exact dispersion relation of one dimensional periodic coupled-resonator optical waveguides of finite length, from which the reduced group velocity of light is obtained. We show that the group index strongly depends on the number of cavities in the system, especially for operation at the center frequency. The nonlinear phase sensitivity shows an enhancement proportional to the square of the group index (or light slowing ratio). Aperiodic coupled ring-resonator optical waveguides with optimized linear properties are then synthesized to give an almost ideal nonlinear phase shift response. For a given application and bandwidth requirement, the nonlinear sensitivity can be increased by either decreasing resonator length or by using higher-order structures. The impact of optical loss, including linear and two-photon absorption is discussed in post-analysis.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
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