We present a scheme for achieving thermal bistability based on the selective coupling of three optical resonances. This approach requires one of the resonant frequencies to be temperature dependent, which can occur in materials exhibiting strong thermo-optic effects. For illustration, we explore thermal bistability in two different passive systems, involving either a periodic array of Si ring resonators or parallel GaAs thin films separated by vacuum and exchanging heat in the near field. Such a scheme could prove to be useful for thermal devices operating with transition times on the order of hundreds of milliseconds.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Physics and Astronomy (miscellaneous)