Abstract

A concept for the design of nonlinear optical diodes is proposed that uses the multistability of coupled nonlinear microcavities and the dependence of switching thresholds on the direction of incidence. A typical example of such a diode can be created by combining two mirror-symmetric microcavities where modes of the opposite parity dominate. It is shown that a strong nonreciprocal behavior can be achieved together with a negligible insertion loss. To describe the dynamical properties of such systems, a model based on the coupled-mode theory is developed, and a possible implementation in the form of multilayered structures is considered.

© 2011 Optical Society of America

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