OSA's Digital Library

Journal of the Optical Society of America

Journal of the Optical Society of America

  • Vol. 73, Iss. 5 — May. 1, 1983
  • pp: 654–660

Intracavity resonant degenerate four-wave mixing: bistability in phase conjugation

Govind P. Agrawal  »View Author Affiliations

JOSA, Vol. 73, Issue 5, pp. 654-660 (1983)

View Full Text Article

Acrobat PDF (754 KB)

Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Browse by Journal and Year


Lookup Conference Papers

Close Browse Journals / Lookup Meetings

Article Tools



A general formalism is developed to study intracavity phase conjugation through resonant degenerate four-wave mixing. The effects of spatial hole burning, arising from interference of the counterpropagating pump waves, are fully incorporated. The analysis is applied to discuss intracavity phase conjugation in nonlinear media that can be modeled using either a two-level system or a A-type three-level system. In both cases, the phase-conjugate reflectivity exhibits bistability for an appropriate choice of the input parameters. For a two-level system, the tuning characteristics of the Fabry–Perot cavity significantly affect the phase-conjugate spectrum that displays hysteresis when the cavity is detuned from the applied laser frequency.

© 1983 Optical Society of America

Govind P. Agrawal, "Intracavity resonant degenerate four-wave mixing: bistability in phase conjugation," J. Opt. Soc. Am. 73, 654-660 (1983)

Sort:  Author  |  Year  |  Journal  |  Reset


  1. For a review see, for example, D. M. Pepper, "Nonlinear optical phase conjugation," Opt. Eng. 21, 155–183 (1982); see also R. A. Fisher, ed., Optical Phase Conjugation (Academic, New York, 1983).
  2. P. F. Liao, D. M. Bloom, and N. P. Economou, "Cw optical wave-front conjugation by saturated absorption in atomic sodium vapor," Appl. Phys. Lett. 32, 813–815 (1978).
  3. R. L. Abrams and R. C. Lind, "Degenerate four-wave mixing in absorbing media," Opt. Lett. 2, 94–96 (1978); errata, Opt. Lett. 3, 205 (1978).
  4. T. Fu and M. Sargent III, "Theory of two-photon phase conjugation," Opt. Lett. 5, 433–435 (1980).
  5. G. P. Agrawal, "Phase conjugation and degenerate four-wave mixing in three-level systems," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-17, 2335–2340 (1981).
  6. In some of the early experiments on phase conjugation, the laser cavity of the pump wave itself was used. See E. F. Bergmann, I. J. Bigio, B. J. Feldman, and R. A. Fisher, "High-efficiency pulsed 10.6-µm phase-conjugate reflection via degenerate fourwave mixing," Opt. Lett. 3, 82–84 (1978).
  7. H. M. Gibbs, S. L. McCall, and T. N. C. Venkatesan, "Differential gain and bistability using a sodium-filled Fabry–Perot interferometer," Phys. Rev. Lett. 36, 1135–1138 (1976).
  8. R. Bonifacio and L. A. Lugiato, "Optical bistability and cooperative effects in resonance fluorescence," Phys. Rev. A 18, 1129–1144 (1978).
  9. G. P. Agrawal and H. J. Carmichael, "Optical bistability through nonlinear dispersion and absorption," Phys. Rev. A 19, 2074–2086 (1979).
  10. G. P. Agrawal and C. Flytzanis, "Bistability and hysteresis in phase-conjugated reflectivity," IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-14, 374–380 (1981).
  11. G. P. Agrawal, C. Flytzanis, R. Frey, and F. Pradere, "Bistable reflectivity of phase-conjugated signal through intracavity degenerate four-wave mixing," Appl. Phys. Lett. 38, 492–494 (1981).
  12. L. Fu-Li, J. A. Hermann, and J. N. Elgin, "Effects of two-photon optical bistability upon phase conjugation," Opt. Commun. 40, 446–450 (1982).
  13. C. Flytzanis and C. L. Tang, "Light-induced critical behavior in four-wave interaction in nonlinear systems," Phys. Rev. Lett. 45, 441–444 (1980).
  14. H. G. Winful and J. H. Marburger, "Hysteresis and optical bistability in degenerate four-wave mixing," Appl. Phys. Lett. 36, 613–614 (1980).
  15. C. Flytzanis, G. P. Agrawal, and C. L. Tang, "Critical behavior in optical phase conjugation," in Lasers and Their Applications, W. O. N. Guimaraes, C.-T. Lin, and A. Mooradian, eds. (Springer-Verlag, Berlin, 1981).
  16. A. Borshch, M. Brodin, V. Volkov, and N. Kukhtarev, "Optical bistability and hysteresis in phase conjugation by degenerate six-photon mixing," Opt. Commun. 41, 213–215 (1982).
  17. G. P. Agrawal and H. J. Carmichael, "Inhomogeneous broadening and the mean-field approximation for optical bistability in a Fabry–Perot," Opt. Acta. 27, 651–660 (1980).
  18. R. K. Raj, D. Bloch, J. J. Snyder, G. Camy, and M. Ducloy, "High-frequency optically heterodyned saturation spectroscopy via resonant degenerate four-wave mixing," Phys. Rev. Lett. 44, 1251–1254 (1980).
  19. P. Aubourg, J. P. Bettini, G. P. Agrawal, P. Cottin, D. Guérin, O. Meunier, and J. L. Boulnois, "Doppler-free cw phase-conjugate spectrum of SF6 by resonant degenerate four-wave mixing at 10.6 µm," Opt. Lett. 6, 383–385 (1981).
  20. D. G. Steel and J. F. Lam, "Saturation effects and inhomogeneous broadening in Doppler-free degenerate four-wave mixing," Opt. Commun. 40, 77–80 (1981).
  21. For the case of pulsed radiation, the analysis can be applied if the medium-response time is shorter than the duration of the optical pulse.
  22. In the literature on optical bistability, this is often referred to as the mean-field approximation (see Refs. 8, 9, and 17).
  23. G. P. Agrawal, J. L. Boulnois, P. Aubourg, and A. van Lerberghe, "Saturation splitting in the spectrum of resonant degenerate four-wave mixing," Opt. Lett. 7, 540–542 (1982).
  24. D. F. Walls and P. Zoller, "A coherent nonlinear mechanism for optical bistability from three-level atoms," Opt. Commun. 34, 260–264 (1980).
  25. R. G. Brewer and E. L. Hahn, "Coherent two-photon processes: transient and steady-state cases," Phys. Rev. A 11, 1641–1649 (1975).
  26. H. R. Gray, R. M. Whitley, and C. R. Stroud, "Coherent trapping of atomic populations," Opt. Lett. 3, 218–220 (1978).
  27. It is not appropriate to use the term reflectivity spectrum because the laser frequency is kept fixed.
  28. J. Mlynek, F. Mitschke, R. Deserno, and W. Lange, "Optical bistability by transverse optical pumping," Appl. Phys. B 28, 135 (1982).

Cited By

Alert me when this paper is cited

OSA is able to provide readers links to articles that cite this paper by participating in CrossRef's Cited-By Linking service. CrossRef includes content from more than 3000 publishers and societies. In addition to listing OSA journal articles that cite this paper, citing articles from other participating publishers will also be listed.

« Previous Article  |  Next Article »

OSA is a member of CrossRef.

CrossCheck Deposited