Room-temperature all-optical switching has been achieved in single-mode strip-loaded nonlinear directional couplers with a GaAs/AlGaAs multiple quantum well guiding layer. For low input intensities nearly complete (1:3-1:5) cross coupling occurs, while at high input intensities switching occurs so that most (>3:1) of the light stays in the input guide. The effects of carrier diffusion are minimized by the use of picosecond pulses. The response time and the recovery time of the nonlinear directional couplers are measured with pump-probe experiments, and the origin of the nonlinearity is attributed to fast electronic effects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)