Polystyrene Kerr nonlinear photonic crystals for building ultrafast optical switching and logic devices
In recent years all-optical switching and logic devices have received extensive attention due to their potential applications in next generation ultrahigh-speed information processing and optical computing. Kerr nonlinear photonic crystals (NPC) offer a promising route to realize all-optical switching with ultrafast response time and low pump power based on simple and robust physical mechanisms. In this feature article, we present our extensive investigation on Kerr NPCs made from polystyrene, an organic polymer material with large Kerr nonlinearity and extremely fast response time down to several femtoseconds, and their application to build ultrafast, low power, and high contrast optical switching and logic devices. Several relevant issues are discussed and analyzed, including the principal working mechanism of all-optical switching and logic devices in Kerr NPCs, preparation of polystyrene NPCs by means of microfabrication and self-assembly techniques, characterization of optical switching performance by means of femtosecond pump-probe technique, and synthesis of silicon–polystyrene hybrid NPCs by means of nano-imprint technology as a promising route to construct switching, modulating, and logic devices compatible with popular silicon photonics.
- This article is part of the themed collection: 2014 Journal of Materials Chemistry C Hot Articles