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An optically addressed nonlinear polarization switch based on the near-resonant excitation of a spin-polarized population of virtual excitons is demonstrated in a multiple quantum well. Pulse-width-limited switching (∼400 fs full width at half maximum) and high-contrast performance (194:1) are achieved in a thin (40 well) sample at 100 K. Differential absorption measurements identify the dominant switching mechanisms. © 2002 American Institute of Physics.
Applied Physics Letters
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