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Temperature dependence of the Kerr nonlinearity and two-photon absorption in a silicon waveguide at 1:55μm

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Original languageEnglish
Article number044084
JournalPhysical Review Applied
Issue number4
DateAccepted/In press - 19 Feb 2019
DatePublished (current) - 25 Apr 2019


We measure the temperature dependence of the two-photon absorption and optical Kerr nonlinearity of a silicon waveguide over a range of temperatures from 5:5 to 300 K. Measurements are taken at a wavelength of 1:55 μm in the technologically important telecom C-band. We observe a near halving (45% reduction) of the two-photon absorption coefficient at low temperature, whereas a smaller reduction in the Kerr nonlinearity of 25% is found. The increased ratio of Kerr to absorptive nonlinearity at low temperatures indicates an improved operation of integrated photonic devices that make use of a nonlinear phase shift, such as optical switches or parametric photon-pair sources. As an example, we examine how the heralding efficiency of a photon-pair source will change at low temperatures and predict a modest improvement in source performance. In addition, the modelling and experimental techniques developed can readily be extended to other wavelengths or materials of interest.

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