Publication # 014

D. A. B. Miller, S. D. Smith and C. T. Seaton, "Optical Bistability in Semiconductors," IEEE Journal of Quantum Electronics QE-17, 312-317 (1981).

Details results are presented on optical bistability (OB) and two-beam optical transistor (transphasor) action in simple one-element Fabry-Perot devices, with the semiconductor InSb using a CW CO laser near the bandgap region, and OB for semiconductors in general is discussed. OB and multistability are seen in transmission and reflection at 5K. At 77K, n/sub 2/ approximately=3*10/sup -3/ cm/sup 2//W (corresponding to an effective chi /sup (3)/ approximately 1 ESU) is measured and OB is observed at approximately 8 mW. Transphasor action at 5K is presented and the influence of degenerate four-wave mixing is discussed. The basic physics of the microscopic mechanism for n/sub 2/ (bandgap-resonant saturation) is summarized and a simplified, generalized model is derived. This model and arguments on cavity optimization are used to predict order of magnitude limits to switching power, energy, and speed, both in InSb and other semiconductors, even in the absence of excitonic enhancement

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