The nonlinear optics of Si photonic wires is discussed. The distinctive features of these waveguides are that they have extremely large third-order susceptibility Χ(3) and dispersive properties. The strong dispersion and large third-order nonlinearity in Si photonic wires cause the linear and nonlinear optical physics in these guides to be intimately linked. By carefully choosing the waveguide dimensions, both linear and nonlinear optical properties of Si wires can be engineered. We review the fundamental optical physics and emerging applications for these Si wires. In many cases, the relatively low threshold powers for nonlinear optical effects in these wires make them potential candidates for functional on-chip nonlinear optical devices of just a few millimeters in length; conversely, the absence of nonlinear optical impairment is important for the use of Si wires in on-chip interconnects. In addition, the characteristic length scales of linear and nonlinear optical effects in Si wires are markedly different from those in commonly used optical guiding systems, such as optical fibers or photonic crystal fibers, and therefore guiding structures based on Si wires represent ideal optical media for investigating new and intriguing physical phenomena.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics