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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 14, Iss. 4 — Feb. 15, 1989
  • pp: 242–244

Polarization-rotation switch using picosecond pulses in GaAs

Arthur L. Smirl, J. Dubard, A. G. Cui, Thomas F. Boggess, and George C. Valley  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 14, Issue 4, pp. 242-244 (1989)

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Photorefractive and free-carrier nonlinearities in GaAs transfer energy from a strong picosecond pump, which is linearly polarized at an arbitrary angle to a weak s-polarized probe, into a p-polarized beam propagating in the probe direction. By placing the GaAs between a crossed pair of high-quality polarizers that are set to extinguish the probe in the absence of the pump, an efficient, high-contrast, high-speed optical switch is realized. By varying the pump–probe ratio, delay, fluence, and polarization, we can maximize the intensity of the p-polarized component. This intensity with the pump present divided by that without the pump, the on–off ratio, is approximately 2 at fluences as low as 0.03 mJ/cm2 and approaches 10,000 at fluences of 15 mJ/cm2 and pump polarizations of 45°.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: September 9, 1988
Manuscript Accepted: November 30, 1988
Published: February 15, 1989

Arthur L. Smirl, Thomas F. Boggess, George C. Valley, J. Dubard, and A. G. Cui, "Polarization-rotation switch using picosecond pulses in GaAs," Opt. Lett. 14, 242-244 (1989)

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