All-optical switches and bistable devices using high-Q photonic crystal nanocavities

Takasumi Tanabe, Akihiko Shinya, Eiichi Kuramochi, Hideaki Taniyama, Masaya Notomi

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


We review our recent progress on all-optical switching and bistability using ultrahigh-Q photonic crystal nanocavities. We also discuss all-optical logic gate operations. Because photonic crystal nanocavities can strongly confine photons in a small area for a long time, light can efficiently interact with dipoles. As a result, optical nonlinearities occur at a very low input. Optical nonlinearities are essential as regards all-optical switching and bistability, because they dynamically change such material properties as refractive index. We demonstrate all-optical switching at an operating energy of less than 100 fJ, and bistable operation at less than ∼100 μW. In addition, these devices are small and so can operate at a reasonably high speed (∼100 ps).

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationOptoelectronic Integrated Circuits XI
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Jun 29
Externally publishedYes
EventOptoelectronic Integrated Circuits XI - San Jose, CA, United States
Duration: 2009 Jan 282009 Jan 29

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X


OtherOptoelectronic Integrated Circuits XI
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Jose, CA


  • Bistability
  • Micro- and nanocavity
  • Optical switch
  • Photonic crystal
  • Photonic integrated circuit

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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