Abstract

We demonstrate extremely low-power all-optical bistability by utilizing silicon photonic crystal nanocavities, based on the plasma effect of carriers generated by two-photon absorption. Owing to the high quality factor and the small volume of the nanocavities, the photon density inside the cavity becomes extremely high, which leads to a large reduction in operation power. Optical bistable operation in a single nanocavity permits optical read–write memory operation, which opens the possibility of an integrated optical logic circuit on a single chip, based on photonic crystals. The demonstrated bistable threshold power is 0.4 mW with a set pulse energy of 74 fJ, at a switching speed of <100ps.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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