Observation of Thermal Optical Bistability, Crosstalk, Regenerative Pulsations, and External Switch-Off in a Simple Dye-Filled Etalon
Continuous-wave optical bistability was easily achieved with the single-wavelength outputs from a cw visible Ar laser, rhodamine B or 6G dye lasers, and a He-Ne 632.8-nm laser. Input powers ranged from 5 mW to 2 W. A switch-on time as short as 20 μs was achieved with 100 mW of cw dye laser input. Using two adjacent or overlapping bistable transmission regions on the same etalon, we observed light by light control, with possible applications in optical signal processing. With two dye etalons in series we produced an optical flip-flop, permitting external switch-off as well as switch-on of an intrinsic bistable device. The simple etalon construction and flexibility in choice of lasers should encourage widespread use in testing various bistable operations, as well as in demonstrations and student labs.
KeywordsPolarization Beam Splitter Optical Bistability Optical Signal Processing Regenerative Pulsation Capillary Attraction
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