Asymmetric optical loop mirror: Analysis of an all-optical switch

Michael G. Kane, Ivan Glesk, Jason P. Sokoloff, Paul R. Prucnal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

66 Scopus citations


We present an analysis of the optical loop mirror in which a nonlinear optical element is asymmetrically placed in the loop. This analysis provides a general framework for the operation of a recently invented ultrafast all-optical switch known as the terahertz optical asymmetric demultiplexer. We show that a loop with small asymmetry, such as that used in the terahertz optical asymmetric demultiplexer, permits low-power ultrafast all-optical sampling and demultiplexing to be performed with a relatively slow optical nonlinearity. The size of the loop is completely irrelevant to switch operation as long as the required degree of asymmetry is accommodated. This is therefore the first low-power ultrafast all-optical switch that can be integrated on a single substrate.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)6833-6842
Number of pages10
JournalApplied Optics
Issue number29
StatePublished - Oct 10 1994

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Engineering (miscellaneous)
  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


  • Optical demultiplexing
  • Optical loop mirror
  • Optical switching
  • Semiconductor optical amplifier


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