We demonstrate extremely low-power all-optical bistability by utilizing silicon photonic crystal nanocavities, based on the plasma effect of carriers generated by two-photon absorption. Owing to the high quality factor and the small volume of the nanocavities, the photon density inside the cavity becomes extremely high, which leads to a large reduction in operation power. Optical bistable operation in a single nanocavity permits optical read-write memory operation, which opens the possibility of an integrated optical logic circuit on a single chip, based on photonic crystals. The demonstrated bistable threshold power is 0.4 mW with a set pulse energy of 74 fJ, at a switching speed of <100 ps.
© 2005 Optical Society of America
Takasumi Tanabe, Masaya Notomi, Satoshi Mitsugi, Akihiko Shinya, and Eiichi Kuramochi, "Fast bistable all-optical switch and memory on a silicon photonic crystal on-chip," Opt. Lett. 30, 2575-2577 (2005)