Paradoxically, slow light promises to increase the speed of telecommunications in novel photonic structures, such as coupled resonators [1] and photonic crystals [2,3]. Apart from signal delays, the key consequence of slowing light down is the enhancement of light-matter interactions. Linear effects such as refractive index modulation scale linearly with slowdown in photonic crystals [3], and nonlinear effects are expected to scale with its square [4]. By directly observing the spatial compression of an optical pulse, by factor 25, we confirm the mechanism underlying this square scaling law. The key advantage of photonic structures over other slow light concepts is the potentially large bandwidth, which is crucial for telecommunications [5]. Nevertheless, the slow light previously observed in photonic crystals [2,3,6,7] has been very dispersive and featured narrow bandwidth. We demonstrate slow light with a bandwidth of 2.5 THz and a delay-bandwidth product of 30, which is an order of magnitude larger than any reported so far.

Opt. Express

Settle, M. D., Engelen, R. J. P., Salib, M., Michaeli, A., Kuipers, K., & Krauss, T. F. (2007). Flatband slow light in photonic crystals featuring spatial pulse compression and terahertz bandwidth. Opt. Express, 15(1), 219–226. doi:10.1364/OE.15.000219