Performance of optical delay lines and nonlinear devices based on slow wave propagation in photonic crystal waveguides in the presence of higher order dispersion is analyzed and compared with other slow light schemes, such as coupled resonators and media with electromagnetically-induced transparence. It is shown that higher order dispersion severely limits the bit rate of the system. Novel methods for increasing the bit rate are proposed and analyzed. These methods range from mundane dispersion-compensation schemes to the most elaborate methods using adiabatic changes and various parametric processes. The conclusion is that while the slow light is definitely not a "silver bullet", there still might be a practical niche for it.
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