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Optics Letters

Optics Letters


  • Vol. 9, Iss. 5 — May. 1, 1984
  • pp: 162–164

Optical bistability due to increasing absorption

D. A. B. Miller, A. C. Gossard, and W. Wiegmann  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Letters, Vol. 9, Issue 5, pp. 162-164 (1984)

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It is shown theoretically that optical bistability will exist in a material whose optical absorption is more than linearly proportional to the degree to which the material is excited. No cavity or external feedback is required. The underlying principle of this bistability appears to be a generalization of several previous independent discussions of mirrorless bistabilities in specific physical systems. This bistability and associated differential gain are demonstrated experimentally using a thermal nonlinearity in a GaAs/GaAlAs multiple-quantum-well semiconductor. Theory and experiment show good agreement.

© 1984 Optical Society of America

Original Manuscript: December 23, 1983
Manuscript Accepted: February 17, 1984
Published: May 1, 1984

D. A. B. Miller, A. C. Gossard, and W. Wiegmann, "Optical bistability due to increasing absorption," Opt. Lett. 9, 162-164 (1984)

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  1. See, for example, the recent review by D. A. B. Miller, Laser Focus 18(4), 79 (1982), which categories some types of optical bistability.
  2. A. E. Kaplan, Phys. Rev. Lett. 48, 138 (1982). [CrossRef]
  3. J. Hajto, I. Janossy, Philos. Mag. B47, 346 (1983).
  4. F. A. Hopf, C. M. Bowden, W. Louisell, Phys. Rev. A (to be published).
  5. K. Bohnert, H. Kalt, C. Klingshirn, Appl. Phys. Lett. 43, 1088 (1983). [CrossRef]
  6. See, for example, A. Miller, D. A. B. Miller, S. D. Smith, Adv. Phys. 30, 697 (1981); D. A. B. Miller, Laser Focus 19(7), 61 (1983). [CrossRef]
  7. D. A. B. Miller, D. S. Chemla, D. J. Eilenberger, P. W. Smith, A. C. Gossard, W. T. Tsang, Appl. Phys. Lett. 41, 679 (1982). [CrossRef]
  8. D. A. B. Miller, D. S. Chemla, D. J. Eilenberger, P. W. Smith, A. C. Gossard, W. Wiegmann, Appl. Phys. Lett. 42, 925 (1983). [CrossRef]
  9. D. A. B. Miller, D. S. Chemla, P. W. Smith, A. C. Gossard, W. Wiegmann, Opt. Lett. 8, 477 (1983). [CrossRef] [PubMed]

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