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Published December 2005 | Published
Book Section - Chapter Open

Where Nanophotonics and Microfluidics Meet


A new generation of photonic devices has recently emerged that relies on using geometries of sub-wavelength microstructures within a high refractive index contrast materials system. These geometries are used to confine and manipulate light within very small volumes. High optical field densities can be obtained within such structures, and these in turn can amplify optical nonlinearities. Moreover, many of these structures, as for example photonic crystals and slotted waveguides, can be engineered for the efficient localization of light within the low-index regions of high index contrast microstructures. When such structures are back-filled nonlinear polymers or liquids, devices can be tuned and novel phenomena can be observed. In particular, such devices are very interesting when constructed from silicon on insulator (SOI) material in which the optical waveguide also serves as a transparent electrical contact. Here we show examples of the design, fabrication and testing of optical microstructures in which the electro-optic (χ2) and photorefractive (χ3) nonlinearities are used for electro-optic tuning, frequency mixing, optical rectification, and high-speed switching of light.

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© 2005 IEEE.

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