Abstract

We demonstrate all-optical switching action in a nonlinear photonic crystal cross-waveguide geometry with instantaneous Kerr nonlinearity, in which the transmission of a signal can be reversibly switched on and off by a control input. Our geometry accomplishes both spatial and spectral separation between the signal and the control in the nonlinear regime. The device occupies a small footprint of a few micrometers squared and requires only a few milliwatts of power at a 10-Gbit/s switching rate by use of Kerr nonlinearity in AlGaAs below half the electronic bandgap. We also show that the switching dynamics, as revealed by both coupled-mode theory and finite-difference time domain simulations, exhibits collective behavior that can be exploited to generate high-contrast logic levels and all-optical memory.

© 2003 Optical Society of America

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