1 February 1986 Extremely Low Switching Energy Optical Bistable Devices
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An all-optical bistable device and an electro-optical bistable device, with performances approaching the fundamental statistical limits, are described. In the all-optical approach, the giant nonlinearities associated with bound excitons in CdS are exploited to demonstrate the lowest-switching-energy (< 4 pJ) all-optical bistable device. The device switches in less than 1 ns and fully recovers in less than 2 ns. These times are detector limited. A switching energy of less than 1 fJ is theoretically predicted for an optimized geometry. In the electro-optical approach, an InGaAsP/InP diode laser amplifier is used to demonstrate bistability with less than 6000 photons (< 8 X 10-16 J) incident on the device. The device switches in less than 1 ns and is cascadable since it has a gain of 100. It operates at room temperature and is compatible with diode laser sources.
Mario Dagenais, W. F. Sharfin, "Extremely Low Switching Energy Optical Bistable Devices," Optical Engineering 25(2), 252219 (1 February 1986). https://doi.org/10.1117/12.7973808 . Submission:

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