A 160-Femtosecond Optical Image Processor Based on a Conjugated Polymer

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Science  26 Aug 1994:
Vol. 265, Issue 5176, pp. 1215-1216
DOI: 10.1126/science.265.5176.1215


Degenerate ground-state conjugated polymers exhibit large third-order nonlinear optical susceptibilities, including substantial two-photon absorption. With the use of a machine architecture suited to these material properties, ultrafast optical processors are possible. A four-wave mixing optical correlator was built with an air-stable, processable, degenerate ground-state conjugated polymer, poly(1,6-heptadiester). The continuously updatable processor correlates two 5000-pixel images in less than 160 femtoseconds, achieving peak processing rates of 3 x 1016 operations per second.