Abstract

Recently a cross-phase modulation scheme that yields giant Kerr nonlinearities by use of an electromagnetically induced transparency (EIT) was proposed [Schmidt and Imamoǧlu, Opt. Lett. 21, 1936 (1996)]. We analyze the high-speed properties of this scheme for short-pulse propagation. We discuss the relevant losses in this system and show that for short pulses one-photon losses are dominant. We demonstrate that over the entire bandwidth the attainable phase shift in an EIT scheme with a quasi-cw coupling field is orders of magnitude higher than in a conventional three-level scheme or in EIT schemes, in which matched pulses are used to create the transparency.

© 1998 Optical Society of America

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