||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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