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Nonlinear Optics and Photonics$
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Guang S. He

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780198702764

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198702764.001.0001

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Optical Bistability

Optical Bistability

(p.359) 11 Optical Bistability
Nonlinear Optics and Photonics

Guang S. He

Oxford University Press

When the output parameter of an optical device could be a multivalued function of the input parameter, this device can be working in an optical bistable status. The most typical optical bistable device is a Fabry–Perot cavity containing a nonlinear optical medium, the refractive index of which depends on the light intensity. Upon the action of an intense input optical beam, the transmitted (or reflected) intensity of this device may exhibit a nonlinear response to the incident light intensity variation and, especially under appropriate working conditions, the characteristic output/input curve may manifest a single (or multiple) hysteresis loop(s). Such type of optical bistable device can be used as an optical differential amplifier, optical switch, optical limiter, optical clipper, optical discriminator, or an optical memory element, depending on the chosen nonlinear medium and operation conditions.

Keywords:   Nonlinear Fabry-Perot cavity, optical bistability, optical hysteresis, optical differential amplifier, optical switch, optical limiter, optical clipper, optical discriminator, optical memory element

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