Abstract

We demonstrate a photorefractive incoherent-to-coherent optical converter driven by ultraviolet light that provides a 35μs response time and an optical resolution of 124  line pairs/mm. The device, implemented in KNbO3, operates with a modulating intensity of 85 mW/cm2, which corresponds to an optical switching energy per bit of 0.5  pJ. A conversion rate of the order of 90 Gbits/s cm2 is achieved. The conversion between the ultraviolet light and the visible laser beam at λ=532 nm occurs through anisotropic Bragg diffraction at a modulated interband photorefractive grating. Our device has a better optical resolution and conversion rate than optically addressed solid-state spatial light modulators based on the photorefractive effect and multiple quantum wells, and it is also faster than devices based on liquid crystals.

© 1999 Optical Society of America

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