Abstract

In hybrid semiconductor devices optoelectronic and electro-optic mechanisms can be combined to yield large artificial optical nonlinearities. The principle is discussed on the basis of a two-step process assuming, first, that the element exhibits the properties of a photodetector whereby optical power is absorbed to generate a photocurrent. Second, it is assumed that the same device simultaneously behaves as a modulator controlled by the photocurrent through some electro-optic mechanism. As a result of this self-interaction process, a self-electro-optic effect occurs, leading to effective optical nonlinearities. Special structures based on electro-optic or thermo-optic mechanisms are discussed in detail. Finally, the optical nonlinearity is used to study optical bistability.

© 1989 Optical Society of America

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