We present ultrafast all-optical switching measurements of Si woodpile photonic band gap crystals. The crystals are spatially homogeneously excited and probed by measuring reflectivity over an octave in frequency (including the telecommunication range) as a function of time. After 300 fs, the complete stop band has shifted to higher frequencies as a result of optically excited free carriers. The switched state relaxes quickly with a time constant of 18 ps. We present a quantitative analysis of switched spectra with theory for finite photonic crystals. The induced changes in refractive index are well described by a Drude model with a carrier relaxation time of 10 fs. We briefly discuss possible applications of high-repetition-rate switching of photonic crystal cavities.

Phys. Rev. B
Photonic Materials

Euser, T. G., Molenaar, A. J., Fleming, J. G., Gralak, B., Polman, A., & Vos, W. L. (2008). All-optical octave-broad ultrafast switching of Si woodpile photonic band gap crystals. Phys. Rev. B, 77(Article number: 115214), 1–6. doi:10.1103/physrevb.77.115214