The nonlinear optical characteristics of highly nonlinear waveguides utilizing carbon nanotube composite materials are investigated theoretically. The extremely high nonlinearity and relatively high loss of the carbon nanotube materials are shown to greatly affect the performance of such waveguides for nonlinear optical applications, in contrast to waveguides using conventional nonlinear materials. Different configurations based on applying the carbon nanotube materials to the popular ridge and buried waveguides are thoroughly studied, and the optimal geometries are derived through simulations. It is shown that, though the nonlinear coefficient is often huge for these waveguides, the loss characteristics can significantly limit the maximum achievable accumulated nonlinearity, e.g. the maximum nonlinear phase shift. Our results suggest that SOI-based high-index-contrast, carbon nanotube cladding waveguides, rather than the currently demonstrated low-contrast waveguides, could hold the promise of achieving significantly higher accumulated nonlinearity.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Carbon nanotube
- Optical nonlinearity