Using Electro-magnetically Induced Transparency in Photonic Crystal Cavities to

Summary This invention describes a photonic crystal system which uses electro-magnetically induced transparency (EIT) as the non-linear medium in photonic crystal cavities to obtain devices of unprecedent non-linear sensitivity, with operating power requirements many orders of magnitude smaller than in most non-linear optics devices. Implementation is not limited to EIT and can use any kind of cavity quantum electrodynamics (QED).

This invention also describes a method of forming a microcavity structure inside of a photonic crystal, which is doped with materials that exhibit electro-magnetic induced transparency so as to increase the non-linear properties of the photonic crystals.

In the early 1980's, the prospect of all-optical computers was a hot area of research. Such computers could conceivably operate at much higher clock speeds, and would need much more amenable to high-degree parallelization than electronic computers. Unfortunately, the power requirements needed to obtain large enough non-linearities to realize this scheme with the solutions that existed at the time were many orders of magnitude too large for all-optical computing to be feasible. If better non-linear materials were available and the needed power could therefore be reduced, all-optical computing would become a very interesting prospect again.

In the nodes of any long-haul telecommunication network, one needs to perform electro-optical conversion and ultra fast electronics in order to process optical signals. There are physical limitations that prevent electronics from functioning well at very high frequencies, including power, which makes such electronic devices extremely expensive. In fact, almost 90% of the cost of any long-haul network lies in modules that perform electro-optical conversion. Consequently, there is a rapidly growing need and interest in developing satisfactory all-optical signal processing.

Another important application where very large optical non-linearities could play a crucial role is the emerging field of quantum information and quantum computation. Due to their minimal interactions with environment and low absorption losses in many media, photons are the preferred long-distance carriers of quantum information. At various nodes of such a quantum-information network, the information will need to be processed. Although quantum information can be transferred from one system to another e.g. photons to electrons, and then back, such transfers are technologically challenging. Consequently, there is a need to perform all-optic quantum-information processing. To achieve this, one has to have non-linear effects large enough to be triggered by single photon power levels. More generally, because of their low decoherence rates, photons might very well also turn out to be the preferred way of implementing quantum computation. In that case, the currently non-existing capability to influence the quantum state of a single photon with a single other photon will become even more important. See PCT/US03/38216 for more information.

Applications Telecommunications, quantum information processing, all-optical computing For Further Information Please Contact the Director of Business Development Alan Gordon Email: alan_gordon@harvard.edu Telephone: (617) 384-5000

Inventor(s): Hau, Lene V.

Type of Offer: Licensing



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