All-Optical Components for Signal Processing

Period of Performance: 11/15/2000 - 11/15/2002


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Altair Center, LLC
1 Chartwell Circle
Shrewsbury, MA 01545
Principal Investigator


ALTAIR Center proposes to develop innovative components for all-optical signal processing based on new mechanism of extraordinary large third-order nonlinearity in semiconductor materials demonstrated in Phase I of the project at the light power densities as low as 1 mW/mm2. The technology employs new process of modification of the semiconductor materials creating microscopic clusters dramatically enhancing the material nonlinearity. In Phase II the demonstrated new technology will be completely developed and optimized resulting in a commercially viable process. By the end of the project two prototype all-optical components operating at important telecommunication wavelength of 1.3 and 1.5 um will be developed and delivered to the DoD. An all-fiber-in-line version of the component employs resonance evanescent coupling between a side polished single-mode fiber and a nonlinear high-index multimode GaAs waveguide depending on the intensity of controlling beam. In the second integrated optical version of the components, the developed modification technology will be used for selective direct laser beam processing of initially passive GaAs based Mach-Zehnder interferometer, directional coupler and Bragg reflector in order to induce the third-order nonlinearity providing their nonlinear operation. The prototype multi-functional components can operate as signal routing switch, power limiter, all-optical transistor and modulator, bistable elements. In addition to immediate military applications the proposed technology will be applicable to many civilian areas, including: optical communications, parallel optical interconnectors, optical computing, spatial light modulators, laser diodes with improved performance, remote sensing and monitoring, Q-switching for fiber lasers, photonic and optoelectronic devices, etc.