Low loss waveguides and waveguide elements in chi(3)-polymers
Low loss optical waveguides (< 1 dB/cm) with extreme stability against pulsed optical intensity (up to 16 GW/cm) allowing for a nonlinear induced phase shift of >3 pi have been fabricated in a class of conjugated polymers, substituted poly(phenylene-vinylene) (PPV), which are promising candidates for demonstration of nonlinear switching in waveguide elements. The wavelength dependence of the nonlinear optical properties (nonlinear refractive index parameter n2 and the two-photon absorption coefficient alpha2) were measured with interferometer and spectral pulse broadening techniques. The nonresonant n2 values are several times 10(exp -14) cm2/W for the two PPV derivatives measured. Ultrafast nonlinear switching is demonstrated exploring purely electronics effects by using a semi-integrated nonlinear Mach-Zehnder interferometer and directional couplers.