Abstract

We report optically bistable output of a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL). The GaAs–AlGaAs VCSEL was optically pumped with a cw Ti:sapphire laser that was tuned near a cavity resonance of the VCSEL. Using a simple Fabry–Perot model, we demonstrate that the bistability is primarily dispersive and not absorptive. Although the threshold power is high because of poor sample quality, the contrast is very large; in fact, it approaches infinity.

© 1997 Optical Society of America

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