We present a generic approach to determine the phase mismatch for any optical nonlinear process. When applying this approach, which is based on the evaluation of local phase changes, to Raman- and Kerr-based four-wave mixing in silicon waveguides, we obtain an expression for the phase mismatch which is more accurate as compared to the conventional definition; and which contains additional contributions due to the dispersion of the four-wave-mixing processes. Furthermore, starting from the general propagation equations for the involved pump, Stokes and anti-Stokes waves, we investigate the impact of this four-wave-mixing dispersion in silicon waveguides and examine how it is influenced by changing the frequency difference between the pump and Stokes input waves. We show by means of numerical simulations that, by detuning this frequency difference slightly away from Raman resonance, the four-wave-mixing conversion efficiency can be more than doubled, but can also lead to a decrease in efficiency of more than 10 dB. We also discuss how the pump-Stokes frequency difference that is optimal for wavelength conversion varies with the length of the silicon waveguides and with their dispersion characteristics. Finally, starting from the newly introduced phase mismatch formula we simplify the set of propagation equations such that they are less computationally intensive to solve while still giving accurate estimates of the optimal pump-Stokes frequency difference and the corresponding wavelength conversion efficiency.
©2011 Optical Society of America
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