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Publication # 015

D. A. B. Miller, S. D. Smith and C. T. Seaton, "Optical Bistability and Multistability in the Semiconductor InSb" in "Optical Bistability," ed. C. M. Bowden, M. Ciftan and H. R. Robl (Plenum, 1981), 115-126

The discovery of third-order refractive nonlinearity with X^3 ~ 10^-2 esu has led to the observation of optical bistability in thin parallel crystals of InSb in various orders. The effect is so sensitive that it is observable at power densities ~ 10 W/cm^2 (mW incident powers) using 100 um dimension devices. Transphasor action, that is, two-beam differential signal gain analogous to transistor action, has been observed with gains of up to 10. The future prospects of these devices are disussed in terms of macroscopic and microscopic processes, for both of which new theory has been developed, and the possibility of fast, low-power switching is discussed.

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