Abstract

Incoherent optical processing with films made from the biological photochrome bacteriorhodopsin (BR) is accomplished by use of the photoinducible anisotropy of polymeric BR films. BR has two spectrally well separated states, B and M, both of which show a high degree of optical anisotropy. Whereas with green and blue light the BR molecule can be switched between the two states, the accompanying changes in the refractive index may be nondestructively read out by wavelengths in the red, e.g., at 676 nm. As the sensitivity of CCD arrays is quite high for such wavelengths, even low-power light sources are sufficient for detection. We describe a BR-based XOR computing module for incoherent optical data processing.

© 2002 Optical Society of America

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