Protein based all-optical switching

Principal Investigator: András Dér and Pál Ormos
This project is part of the NATO Science for Peace Project 974262


Grating Coupler

Mach-Zehnder Interferometer

Optical fibre networks represent the most efficient way of transmission of digital information over large distances. In order to deliver data to their final destination, however, active switching elements (routers, multiplexers, demultiplexers) are also necessary to operate at, e.g., internet nodes. The state-of-the-art active elements are electro-optical ones, that assume multiple data conversion from optical to electric (and back). In order to avoid this drawback, finding all-optical solutions to this problem is currently the ultimate goal of most telecommunications research. The bottle-neck is finding the suitable “active”, nonlinear optical (NLO) materials with high speed, stability and sensitivity. In addition to organic and inorganic crystals, biological molecules have also been considered for use in optoelectronics, among which the chromoprotein bacteriorhodopsin (bR) has generated the most interest.