All-optical signal processing at ultra-low powers in bottle microresonators using the Kerr effect

Author(s): M. Pöllinger, A. Rauschenbeutel

Journal: Optics Express

Volume: 18

Page(s): 17764-17775

Year: 2010

DOI Number: 10.1364/OE.18.017764

Link: Link to publication

Abstract:

We present experimental results on nonlinear, ultra-low power photonics applications based on a silica whispering-gallery-mode microresonator. Our bottle microresonator combines an ultrahigh quality factor of Q > 108 with a small mode volume V. The resulting Q2/V-ratio is among the highest realized for optical microresonators and allows us to observe bistable behavior at very low powers. We report single-wavelength all-optical switching via the Kerr effect at a record-low threshold of 50 µW. Moreover, an advantageous mode geometry enables the coupling of two tapered fiber waveguides to a bottle mode in an add-drop configuration. This allows us to route a CW optical signal between both fiber outputs with high efficiency by varying its power level. Finally, we demonstrate that the same set-up can also be operated as an optical memory.

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