Optical nonlinearities in passive and active gallium arsenide with applications to optical switching and laser instabilities.
AuthorLowry, Curtis Wayne.
Committee ChairGibbs, Hyatt M.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractNonlinear optical properties of passive and active semiconductors are investigated experimentally and theoretically. Improvement of switching cycle time in optical nonlinear etalons to 40 ps is demonstrated, and strained-layer InGaAs/GaAs quantum well material is used in an asymmetric etalon to greatly improve switching power and contrast. Coherent energy transfer (CET) induced by injection of an external light field is demonstrated in a GaAs quantum well vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL). The evolution of CET induced asymmetric gain with increasing injected power is investigated experimentally and theoretically, and it is found that the CET induced effective gain peak and dip are detuned proportionally with injected power as in homogeneously broadened media and in contrast to other multi-wave effects in GaAs which are detuned proportionally with the light field. Transfer of gain modification between orthogonally polarized modes of the VCSEL and cascading of gain modification within a mode is observed and investigated. The approach of a laser to an injection locked state through increased injected power is investigated experimentally and theoretically, showing new emission frequencies produced which evolve to chaos-like behavior before reaching the phase locked state. CET induced gain modification is used to demonstrate low-power high-contrast switching between polarization modes of the VCSEL with differential gain of 3,510. Switching speed and switching bistability is observed and investigated. Injection induced modification of VCSEL transverse modes is studied experimentally and theoretically. Field defects in the resulting field are observed, and their locations are dependent on the frequency of the injected field, in contrast to the temporally evolving defects normally observed. The rich behavior of nonlinear properties, especially in gain media provide interesting results and valuable applications.
Degree ProgramOptical Sciences