Stored Light in an Optical Fiber via Stimulated Brillouin Scattering

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Science  14 Dec 2007:
Vol. 318, Issue 5857, pp. 1748-1750
DOI: 10.1126/science.1149066

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We describe a method for storing sequences of optical data pulses by converting them into long-lived acoustic excitations in an optical fiber through the process of stimulated Brillouin scattering. These stored pulses can be retrieved later, after a time interval limited by the lifetime of the acoustic excitation. In the experiment reported here, smooth 2-nanosecond-long pulses are stored for up to 12 nanoseconds with good readout efficiency: 29% at 4-nanosecond storage time and 2% at 12 nanoseconds. This method thus can potentially store data packets that are many bits long. It can be implemented at any wavelength where the fiber is transparent and can be incorporated into existing telecommunication networks because it operates using only commercially available components at room temperature.

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