Abstract

We demonstrate a novel all-optical spatial light modulator capable of megahertz modulation rates. It is based on the quantum-confined Stark effect, but the modulating electric field is entirely photogenerated by strongly asymmetric photocarrier transfer in GaAs/AlAs layers. In a nonoptimized sample, cw optical excitation of approximately 50 W/cm2 created a 30-kV/cm electric field, inducing a 9-meV exciton red shift at room temperature. Under pulsed excitation the photogenerated electric field can be switched on in a few tens of picoseconds and relaxes in a few hundred nanoseconds, permitting megahertz modulation rates.

© 1995 Optical Society of America

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