We present the theory of operation of a ring-channel waveguide coupled to two line channels in which the ring has an optical-power-dependent refractive index. The bistability of the device is analyzed in terms of the geometry of the ring, the nonlinear properties of the ring or the cladding, the coupling coefficients, and the optical losses. A numerical example demonstrates that when InSb is used at a wavelength of 5 μm, switching can take place with a power level of 1.5 μW.
© 1981 Optical Society of America
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