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Slow and Fast Light in Multiple-beam Interferometers, Mono- and Multi-layer Systems


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Slow and Fast Light in Multiple-beam Interferometers, Mono- and Multi-layer Systems
Sánchez Meroño, Aida
Sánchez López, María del Mar
Arias Rodriguez, Mª Julia
Departamentos de la UMH::Ciencia de Materiales, Óptica y Tecnología Electrónica
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This Thesis lies within the field of Slow and Fast Light (SFL) technologies, which are currently receiving much attention because of their interesting applications, ranging from optical information processing to enhanced precision sensing and interferometry. These technologies are based on systems that exhibit steep positive dispersion to propagate a light pulse at group velocity well below the speed of light in vacuum (slow light) or steep negative dispersion to achieve pulse propagation at superluminal or even at negative group velocity (fast light). SFL effects thus arise in a myriad of materials exhibiting spectral resonances. Current efforts in this field are mainly focused on the manipulation of material gain or absorption resonances by nonlinear optical processes (material SFL) or on the optimization of photonic band-gap structures, without substantial material dispersion, but where structural dispersion comes as a result of the coupling between the light wavelength and the characteristic length of the system (structural SFL).This Thesis focuses on the theoretical and experimental analysis of electromagnetic pulse propagation with abnormal group velocities in two kind of linear and passive devices. In the first part of the Thesis a new system exhibiting structural SFL is demonstrated. It deals with multiple-beam interferometers and provides a comprehensive study of the arising of SFL in this system devoid of photonic band gaps. A theoretical model that fully describes the allowed pulse propagation regimes and its performance in terms of both the interferometer’s and the pulse characteristics is developed. Considering amplitude modulated pulses, the capabilities and limitations of SFL effects in this kind of system are retrieved by quantifying typical figures of merit like fractional delay, pulse distortion and Delay-Bandwidth Product. The theoretical framework is valid for any frequency region and the model predictions are probed by performing experiments in the radiofrequency range and through exact numerical simulations in the optical range. The simplest interferometer, with only two branches, is first considered since it is widely used in actual communication systems. It is analytically demonstrated that slow light cannot possibly be sustained and that the total attenuation drives the changes in the pulse propagation regimes. By increasing the number of branches, group delay tuning from slow to fast light regimes occurs if the optical length of one of the branches is slightly changed.In the second part of the Thesis, the ability of mono- and multilayer structures to speed up or slow down electromagnetic pulses is investigated, with special emphasis on their reflection properties. Namely, Distributed Bragg Reflectors (DBRs) and Fabry-Perot filters, common in today’s communication systems, are examined. These structures were fabricated to operate in the microwave and in the radiofrequency range with the aim of confirming theoretical predictions. Experimental results of their frequency- and time-domain characterization are compared with simulations. An advantage of operating in these frequency ranges is that the transmission and reflection phase function can be measured with a two port vector network analyzer. Such a simple measurement of this key function that determines the pulse propagation regime cannot be directly performed in the optical range. Moreover, microstrip DBRs were designed and their potential application as a negative group-delay circuit to improve the efficiency of feedforward amplifiers, which are commonly used for cancelling inherent distortion in microwave amplifiers, is explored.
optica fisica
ciencias tecnologicas
tecnología electronica
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Tesis doctorales - Ciencias e Ingenierías

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