An optical flip-flop using parallel-connected pnpn (thyristor) structures is demonstrated for the first time to our knowledge. We utilize the differential optical switching technique for inverting the state of the flip-flop and the slow dissipation of carriers stored in the gate layers of pnpn structures for retaining the state. The flip-flop operation with 7.2 pJ of optical input energy was attained by using an AlGaAs/GaAs device. The expansibility to monolithic two-dimensional arrays, the high on–off contrast, and the high optical gain of the flip-flop are useful in the design and fabrication of optical parallel processing systems.
© 1990 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: November 28, 1989
Manuscript Accepted: April 5, 1990
Published: July 1, 1990
K. Hara, K. Kojima, K. Mitsunaga, and K. Kyuma, "Optical flip-flop based on parallel-connected AlGaAs/GaAs pnpn structures," Opt. Lett. 15, 749-751 (1990)