Ultrafast optical switch evaluation facility

Joseph M. Osman, Joseph Chaiken, Brian DeVaul

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution


The current major limiting factor in digital optical computing is the absence of a fast, efficient, cascadable optical switch. Material and processing approaches to optical switch construction are not limited to the well known semiconductors and fabrication methods of electronics. A facility to evaluate candidate devices has been constructed. Multiline and tunable femtosecond and picosecond laser systems, as well as frequency mixing systems, are used as light sources. The facility has at least picosecond source capability from 200 nm to 2 μm. The switch transfer function is evaluated in a pump-probe system with femtosecond and picosecond autocorrelators to measure temporal properties, an optical multichannel analyzer to measure spectral properties, a CCD or pyroelectric camera system to measure mode modification, and a multi-detector system to measure switching energy and insertion loss both in absorption and in reflection. The switch or switching array under test is mounted in a 6 axis micropositioner system with a 0 - 20 goniometer, x, y, and z translators, and a tilt goniometer. The system's design, as well as initial measurements of nonlinear interface optical switches based on photorefractive thin films are presented.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
PublisherPubl by Int Soc for Optical Engineering
Number of pages8
ISBN (Print)0819409308
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes
EventUltrahigh- and High-Speed Photography, Videography, and Photonics - San Diego, CA, USA
Duration: Jul 20 1992Jul 22 1992

Publication series

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


OtherUltrahigh- and High-Speed Photography, Videography, and Photonics
CitySan Diego, CA, USA

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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