Abstract

We review recent investigations of nonlinear carrier transport and related optical nonlinearities in GaAs and InP crystals for the case in which photoexcited carriers are nonuniformly heated by a strong external electric field and are redistributed in a spatially nonuniform internal electric field. We simulated the nonequilibrium carrier and internal field spatial evolution in picosecond and nanosecond time domains and estimated criteria for bipolar high-field Gunn-domain grating formation in dc and ac fields. The coexisting refractive-index modulation mechanisms for free-carrier and electro-optic nonlinearities are analyzed for various external field strengths, grating periods, and excitation levels, thus providing conditions for an efficient and fast electro-optic refractive-index modulation by the transient Gunn-domain grating. Comparison of the experimentally observed enhancement of light’s self-diffraction efficiency with numerical calculations has confirmed that the nonresonant electro-optic Gunn-domain-based nonlinearity may exceed the free-carrier nonlinearity.

[Optical Society of America ]

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