Nanotechnology Based Optical Power Control Devices

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We are taking advantage of the unique capabilities of nanoparticles guest embedded within dielectric host matrices for field enhancement effect in developing next generation of non-linear components and devices to passively control and regulate optical power. We report on passive optical power control devices based on a range of photonic nanostructures, including mainly nanostructures for spatial field localization to enhance optical nonlinearities. We present the two main optical power control mechanisms: blocking (Figure 1) and limiting (Figure 2), as well as their corresponding nano-scale phenomena. Our blocking mechanism is enabled by catastrophic breakdown of the material when over power occurs. It is performed by novel nanostructures that are used as threshold trigger at relatively low powers according to the nanoparticles and nanostructure design. The limiting of optical transmittance is done mainly by non-linear scattering based on novel nanostructures that are used as the non-linear scattering medium. We present the design, manufacturing and tests of three novel generic optical power control components: fiber optical fuse [ ], fiber optical limiter and free-space wideband protection filter. All are based on our nanoparticles guest/host nanostructures. Finally, further applications such as optical power regulating for cameras, car rearview mirror and house windows are discussed.

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Journal: TechConnect Briefs
Volume: 1, Technical Proceedings of the 2007 NSTI Nanotechnology Conference and Trade Show, Volume 1
Published: May 20, 2007
Pages: 100 - 103
Industry sectors: Advanced Materials & Manufacturing | Sensors, MEMS, Electronics
Topics: Nanoelectronics, Photonic Materials & Devices
ISBN: 1-4200-6182-8