Nonlinear transmission using highly nonlinear Bragg mirrors

X. Zhu, J. Wang, P. Lau, D. Nguyen, R. A. Norwood, D. Steeves, B. Kimball, N. Peyghambarian

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

1 Scopus citations


Nonlinear transmission upon the formation of an optically induced photonic band gap (PBG) is demonstrated by using periodic layers of optical polymers doped with highly nonlinear transition metal oxides. The refractive indices of the alternating layers are designed to be close and no PBG is formed at low power densities. Under high power illumination, the index difference becomes large because of the high optical nonlinearities of the transition metal oxides. Consequently, nonlinear transmission is accomplished with the formation and the broadening of the PBG. Compared to typical optical limiters based on a PBG approach, our devices provide a large dynamic range and a broad operation wavelength range. The experiments on a nonlinear Bragg mirror consisting of only 4 pairs of PVA:Co3O4-PVK, each with a layer thickness of 85 nm, show a linear transmittance of greater than 50% throughout the visible, and nonlinear transmission for a 10 ns laser pulse at 523 nm with a threshold of 30 mJ/cm2 and a minimum transmission of about 10%. The minimum transmission reduces to 5% for a 12-pair device. Improving the uniformity of each layer and adding more pairs can result in even lower transmission at high intensities. The threshold can be further reduced through precise design and control of the thickness of each layer. The device and material approach is promising for applications such as protection for broadband detectors and human eyes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationOrganic Photonic Materials and Devices XII
StatePublished - 2010
EventOrganic Photonic Materials and Devices XII - San Francisco, CA, United States
Duration: Jan 26 2010Jan 28 2010

Publication series

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


OtherOrganic Photonic Materials and Devices XII
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco, CA


  • Cobalt oxide
  • Nonlinear Bragg mirror
  • Nonlinear transmission
  • Optical polymer
  • Photonic band gap
  • Transition-metal oxides

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


Dive into the research topics of 'Nonlinear transmission using highly nonlinear Bragg mirrors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this