A new use of gratings in nonlinear optics is presented, i.e., the realization of bistable components. The device studied here consist of grating couplers ruled on a Kerr nonlinear medium, which use the guided-wave resonance to increase the local field and thus the nonlinearities. The result is that they are intrinsic bistable optical systems with high-speed, low pumping thresholds, and geometry well adapted to optical integration. First, a linear electromagnetic study of the devices is presented. It follows optimizing the grating parameters in order to get the best coupling between the incident beam and the guided mode inside the corrugated waveguide. Then a graphical construction is given that demonstrates the bistable character of the system in nonlinear optics. Next a nonlinear analysis of the devices is rigorously derived from Maxwell equations. It states precisely the predictions of the graphical construction and allows comparison of the effectiveness of the guided-wave resonance with the surface plasmon resonance in order to reduce the threshold of bistability.
© 1985 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 9, 1984
Manuscript Accepted: January 18, 1985
Published: July 1, 1985
P. Vincent, N. Paraire, M. Neviere, A. Koster, and R. Reinisch, "Gratings in nonlinear optics and optical bistability," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 2, 1106-1116 (1985)