Abstract

We experimentally demonstrate that the spectral sensitivity of a Mach–Zehnder (MZ) interferometer can be enhanced through structural slow light. We observe a 20-fold resolution enhancement by placing a dispersion-engineered, slow-light, photonic-crystal waveguide in one arm of a fiber-based MZ interferometer. The spectral sensitivity of the interferometer increases roughly linearly with the group index, and we have quantified the resolution in terms of the spectral density of interference fringes. These results show promise for the use of slow-light methods for developing novel tools for optical metrology and, specifically, for compact high-resolution spectrometers.

© 2016 Optical Society of America

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