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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/C534255/1
Title: Slot waveguide nonlinear optics: spectroscopy of third order nonlinearity in organic materials
Principal Investigator: Cross, Dr GH
Other Investigators:
Hunt, Dr MRC
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Dr M Szablewski
Project Partners:
Carleton University
Department: Physics
Organisation: Durham, University of
Scheme: Standard Research (Pre-FEC)
Starts: 12 September 2005 Ends: 11 September 2007 Value (£): 170,787
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Processing Materials Synthesis & Growth
Optical Communications Optical Devices & Subsystems
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Electronics Communications
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
The internet, cable TV end telephone services increasingly rely on the transmission of pulses of light along optical fibres. Thousands of different individual messages end pieces of information can be sent simultaneously. When the fight gets to the end of o length of fibre, messages must be sorted out from each other, tidied up (if the pulses have become distorted) and given o boost (if they have lost power) before being sent on their way again to you or I. The places where ell this happens (e 'node') contains hundreds of electronic switches which work relatively slowly performing these tasks. It has long been o dream of scientists that the light might be able to more intelligently sort itself out, reducing or eliminating the need for the cumbersome electronics. One fascinating property of light end its interaction with materials, is that it can become 'self ewee of its state of polarisation, its power level etc. This 'nonlinear optical activity can be effective et controlling the switching direction end other properties of the fight by changing the refractive index of the material proportionally to its own intensity level. Any transparent material can show optical nonfinearity of this sort but the most effective materials have been found to be the rather less easy to handle, organic polymers (plastics.) We will build o device platform structure onto which the polymers can be deposited by simple cooling methods. The device structure will contain a nanoscale slot where exceptionally high intensity fight levels in the region of the deposited polymer will be formed, producing easily measured nonlinear optical effects. This project will therefore not only open up these fascinating materials to easy examination using low cost lasers but will for the first time pave the way to o practical method for using them in devices.
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