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Problem Addressed

Optical nonlinearities relate a nonlinear dependence of a polarization of material to optical field strength in the material. Due to the low strength of the optical nonlinearities in optical material, device characteristics are often adjusted to enhance the nonlinearities. The geometry of optical device can be specifically tailored for nonlinear enhancement, but this approach decreases switching speed in the device. Alternative approaches use highly nonlinear materials for optical devices; however, these materials are characterized by other properties that are deleterious for optical processing. Thus, even with optical device geometry and material design that are directed specifically to nonlinearity enhancement, the performance of optical processing and optical devices is constrained by the generally low nonlinearity of optical materials.