We review the optical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene and describe how those properties have been
used for the implementation of various nonlinear fiber optic applications. Early studies on the optical properties of CNTs
in the late 90s revealed that these materials exhibit high third order susceptibility and a broadband saturable absorption
with a sub-picosecond response time. Recent discovery of similar nonlinear optical properties in graphene attracts much
attention in this field. Such ultrafast, highly nonlinear optical response means that they can be employed for noise
suppression and for the mode-locking of fiber lasers, and in addition, their high third order nonlinearity holds great
promise for the implementation of various other nonlinear fiber optic devices such as wavelength converters based on
four wave mixing. In this paper, we will discuss the various methods that have been considered thus far for the
integration of CNTs and graphene in optical systems and highlight the advantages and limitations of using the saturable
absorption of CNTs and graphene for the passive mode-locking of fiber lasers, and the current status of CNT and
graphene saturable absorbers in the state of art fiber laser technologies.
Generation of flat and broadband supercontinum is demonstrated in an all fiber system using the high-energy noise-like pulses from a stable figure-of-eight fiber laser and nonlinear fibers. This SC source is successfully applied to the spectral domain optical coherence tomography (SD-OCT). The axial resolution is significantly improved compared with the case of the superluminescent diode source. SD-OCT imaging is also demonstrated.
We review the optical properties of carbon nanotubes (CNTs) and graphene and discuss how those properties can be
used in photonic applications. In particular, we will give an overview of the benefits of using their highly nonlinear
optical response in fiber lasers and other nonlinear fiber optic devices. Both graphene and CNTs exhibit high third order
susceptibility and a broadband saturable absorption with sub-picosecond response. We will discuss the advantages and
limitations of using the saturable absorption of carbon nanotubes and graphene for the passive mode-locking of fiber
lasers, introduce the different methods that we have developed to integrate these materials in the fiber system and
summarize the main contributions of these materials towards advancing fiber laser technology. In addition, these
materials also exhibit an extremely high third order susceptibility which is responsible for nonlinear processes such as
four wave mixing (FWM), Kerr focusing and third harmonic generation (THG) of great interest for optical switching and
wavelength conversion. The large absorption of CNTs and graphene however limits the dimensions of these devices and, thus, their applicability. We review our efforts towards enhancing and exploiting the nonlinearity of CNT and graphene fiber optics devices.