Publication # 004

D. A. B. Miller, S. D. Smith and A. Johnston, "Optical Bistability and Signal Amplification in a Semiconductor Crystal. Application of New Low-Power Nonlinear Effects in InSb," Appl. Phys. Lett. 35, 658-660 (1979)

The authors report the observation of optical bistability for a plane parallel semiconductor crystal which forms a Fabry-Perot interferometer using only the natural reflectivity of its surfaces. Nonlinear transmission is observed for CW laser intensities above approximately 100 W/cm/sup 2/ for radiation at 1895 cm/sup -1/ near the energy gap of InSb at 5K. The effect is interpreted in terms of a very large intensity-dependent refractive index giving a 5 lambda /2 optical thickness change for an intensity of approximately 2 kW/cm/sup 2/. Clear bistability is seen in fifth-order interference, the first such observation above first order in an intrinsic, one-element system, in addition to regions exhibiting signal amplification. The same crystal also shows strong modulation of the transmission of one laser beam induced by a second, with real signal gain, thus demonstrating an 'optical transistor'

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