Abstract

On the basis of a general analysis of waveguides containing a dispersive material, we identify conditions under which slow-light propagation may enhance the gain, absorption, or phase change. The enhancement is shown to depend on the slow-light mechanism and the translational symmetry of the waveguide. A combination of material and waveguide dispersion may strongly enhance the control of light speed, e.g., using electromagnetically induced transparency in quantum dots embedded in a photonic crystal waveguide.

© 2010 Optical Society of America

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