Ultrafast, atto-Joule switch using fiber-optic parametric amplifier operated in saturation
Journal article, 2008
ll-optical manipulation of signals carried by lightwaves is attractive because controlling the light directly can be more efficient, allows a multitude of signal formats, and can also prove most cost effective. We implemented a novel scheme for ultrafast optical switching using very small control energy that relies on the use of a saturated fiber-optic parametric amplifier. Approximately 19 aJ (150 photons) of control pulse energy was needed for 50% extinction of the signal which is three to four orders of magnitude smaller than in other all-optical switching demonstrations. This allows the consideration of novel practical approaches to implement all-optical switching devices and all-optical subsystems for telecommunications and other applications.