Abstract

The basic behavior of a tunnel diode when it is used as an optoelectronic device is presented. It is shown that a tunnel diode can be used as an electro-optic modulator, as a device that exhibits self-induced transparency, or as a wavelength converter (for both upconversion and downconversion). The tunnel diode has optical bistability even if it is not placed inside a Fabry–Perot resonator. Numerical estimations are made for some of the parameters of interest for an optoelectronic device and are compared with those of other existing semiconductor-based optoelectronic devices. As the numerical estimates show, a tunnel diode can be a highly efficient optoelectronic device with an extremely wide area of application.

© 2001 Optical Society of America

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