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27 August 2005 Optical continuum generation on a silicon chip
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Although the Raman effect is nearly two orders of magnitude stronger than the electronic Kerr nonlinearity in silicon, under pulsed operation regime where the pulse width is shorter than the phonon response time, Raman effect is suppressed and Kerr nonlinearity dominates. Continuum generation, made possible by the non-resonant Kerr nonlinearity, offers a technologically and economically appealing path to WDM communication at the inter-chip or intra-chip levels. We have studied this phenomenon experimentally and theoretically. Experimentally, a 2 fold spectral broadening is obtained by launching ~4ps optical pulses with 2.2GW/cm2 peak power into a conventional silicon waveguide. Theoretical calculations, that include the effect of two-photon-absorption, free carrier absorption and refractive index change indicate that up to >30 times spectral broadening is achievable in an optimized device. The broadening is due to self phase modulation and saturates due to two photon absorption. Additionally, we find that free carrier dynamics also contributes to the spectral broadening and cause the overall spectrum to be asymmetric with respect to the pump wavelength.
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Bahram Jalali, Ozdal Boyraz, Prakash Koonath, Varun Raghunathan, Tejaswi Indukuri, and Dimitri Dimitropoulos "Optical continuum generation on a silicon chip", Proc. SPIE 5931, Nanoengineering: Fabrication, Properties, Optics, and Devices II, 59310Q (27 August 2005);

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