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Optical bistability in semiconductor periodic structures

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2 Author(s)
He, J. ; Dept. of Electr. Eng., Tech. Univ. of Nova Scotia, Halifax, NS, Canada ; Cada, M.

A theoretical demonstration of optical bistability in periodic layered media, particularly in long-period GaAs/AlAs superlattices is presented. The proposed structure consists of a periodic multilayer system, as opposed to previously demonstrated nonlinear bistable devices which employed Fabry-Perot etalons. The optical resonance effect which is essential for bistable devices is, in this case, induced by a refractive index modulation. The nonlinear active medium is distributed in the whole structure rather than placed between the two mirrors of a Fabry-Perot cavity. It is shown by a complete calculation of wave propagation in the periodic nonlinear medium that a multiple valued feature appears in the structure's nonlinear reflectivity spectrum. The input/output characteristics of the structure exhibit bistable hysteresis similar to that of a nonlinear Fabry-Perot etalon

Published in:

Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:27 ,  Issue: 5 )