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Ultrafast All-Optical Order-to-Chaos Transition in Silicon Photonic Crystal Chips

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In this work, published in Laser Photonics Review we report on the all-optical control of chaotic optical resonators based on a silicon on insulator (SOI) platform. We show that simple non-chaotic cavities can be tuned to exhibit chaotic behaviour via intense optical pumping, inducing a local change of refractive index. To this extent we have fabricated a number of devices and demonstrated experimentally and theoretically that chaos can be triggered on demand on an optical chip.



We show that the degree of chaos supported by a microcavity can be controlled dynamically using light itself. We start with a square (non-chaotic) cavity obtained on SOI. We then pump from above the cavity with pulsed blue light and collect the transmission of the probe pulse in the near infrared, for different pump-probe delays.  Since the pump is focused on a small region of the cavity, our study permits to assess the effect of pumping on different regions of the resonator. The analysis of these activity maps, confirmed by numerical modelling based on random matrices, demonstrates that nonlinear optics can be used to control reversibly the chaotic behaviour of light in optical resonators.

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