Single-wavelength, all-optical switching based on exciton-polaritons

M. Steger, C. Gautham, B. Nelsen, D. Snoke, L. Pfeiffer, K. West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


We present a method for all-optical switching using a microcavity exciton-polariton system. Unlike many other switching methods, we use a single wavelength for both the signal and gate, which means that this method could be used for cascading optical logic gates and amplification within an all-optical circuit. We resonantly pump the sample at an angle with a laser beam and probe the sample with another beam at normal incidence. Upon saturation of the exciton-polariton states, the normal-incidence resonance increases in energy to permit the probe beam to be transmitted through the sample. Experimental results demonstrate switching using a GaAs/AlAs microcavity. Switching times on the order of ten picoseconds and on/off ratios on the order of 10:1 have been observed, and we propose design options to improve upon these.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number131104
JournalApplied Physics Letters
Issue number13
StatePublished - Sep 24 2012
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)


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