Brillouin-Enhanced Four-Wave-Mixing techniques, which couple four optical beams through Brillouin nonlinearity, have gained popularity in the 1980’s largely owing to their phase conjugation properties. Experiments were mainly conducted in liquid cells. The interest in Brillouin-Enhanced Four-Wave-Mixing has reawakened in the 2000’s, following the quest for dynamically reconfigurable gratings in optical fibers. Termed Brillouin Dynamic Grating this time around, it is, in fact, an acoustic wave, optically generated by stimulated Brillouin scattering process between two pump waves. The acoustic wave either carries the coherent information encoded by the pump beams, or in the case of sensing applications, its properties are determined by the environmental parameters. This information, in turn, is imparted to the third phase-matched optical probe wave through the elasto-optic effect. Over the last decade, this mechanism allowed for the realization of many all-optical signal processing functions and has proven instrumental in distributed sensing applications. This paper describes the basics, as well as the state of the art, of BDG-based applications in optical fibers. It also surveys the efforts being done to carry over these concepts to the photonic chip level.
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