Bistable optical response in quantum well semiconductor microcavity

M. Gurioli, L. Cavigli, G. Khitrova, H. M. Gibbs

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


We report an experimental study of the optical bistability in a semiconductor microcavity (MC), consisting of a wedged λ GaAs spacer containing a single 8.5 nm In0-04Ga0.96As quantum well (QW). Increasing the excitation power, a transition between the normal coupling and the weak coupling regime of the MC modes is observed. At intermediate excitation power the reflectivity spectrum shows the simultaneous presence of three resonances, with a third peak spectrally lying between the two normal modes. Monitoring the reflected signal for different laser energy as a function of the excitation power, we found that optical bistability is observed only at the energy of the third peak. The experimental findings do not agree with transfer matrix calculations based on exciton bleaching, suggesting that more complex nonlinear mechanisms are relevant in the observed bistable behaviour.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S345-S347
JournalSemiconductor Science and Technology
Issue number4 SPEC. ISS.
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


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