Photonic crystals (PhCs) enable microcavities that
can have very large life-times, at the same time as having
very small modal volumes. These unique features enable a
range of novel applications, which will be presented in the
For example, they provide excellent geometrical
properties for structural enhancement of optical non-linear
effects. In this manner, we will show a class of all-optical
signal processing devices (based on optical bistability in
non-linear PhC microcavities) of optimal performance
characteristics. Lengths of these devices can be smaller than
the wavelength of light, they can operate with only ~mW of
power, and can be faster than 10ps, while being implemented
in common materials (e.g. AlGaAs, Si).
If such supreme structural enhancement of non-linearities
is combined with a material of extreme non-linear response, like
Electromagnetically Induced Transparency (EIT), devices of
unprecedented optical non-linear response are enabled. We will
show how this approach could lead to observation of non-linear
phenomena at single photon energy levels.
Moreover, placing material as strongly dispersive as EIT
into a cavity greatly enhances its life-time; we will thus also
show how this mechanism could be explored to design microcavities
of extremely long life-times.