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15 May 2012 Nonlinear optics in tapered silicon fibres
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Tapered fibres provide a unique means to manipulate pulse propagation for use in all-optical signal processing applications. Recently, we have demonstrated a new class of taper that is fabricated from our silicon core optical fibre platform. Owing to the high core-cladding index contrast, these silicon tapered fibres can accommodate large taper ratios over short millimetre lengths without introducing any appreciable loss. Such strong tapers allow for unprecedented control over the dispersion and nonlinearity parameters for the tailoring of femtosecond pulse propagation. Using numerical simulations based on realistic tapered fibres with micro to nanoscale core dimensions, we have shown that it is possible to exploit the longitudinally varying waveguide parameters for nonlinear pulse shaping in both the normal and anomalous dispersion regimes. In the normal dispersion regime, we have made use of a decreasing dispersion profile to generate linearly chirped parabolic pulses which allow for high power distortion-free propagation. Similarly, in the anomalous regime a decreasing dispersion profile can be used to compensate for the material losses to allow for soliton propagation, and even soliton compression to generate ultrashort pulses. Due to the broad optical transmission window of silicon, we anticipate that nonlinear pulse shaping in tapered silicon fibres and waveguides will find use not only in the telecoms band, but also extending into the mid-infrared for applications in the life sciences.
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Anna C. Peacock and Noel Healy "Nonlinear optics in tapered silicon fibres", Proc. SPIE 8434, Nonlinear Optics and Applications VI, 84340M (15 May 2012);


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