Optical Bistability Based on Self-Focusing

  • P. W. Smith
  • D. J. Eilenberger


In this paper we describe an experimental study of self-focusing bistable devices using a liquid suspension of dielectric particles as the nonlinear medium. We observe regions of multiple optical hysteresis in good agreement with theoretical predictions.


Nonlinear Medium Experimental Output Liquid Suspension Quartz Particle Dielectric Particle 


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  1. 1.
    J. E. Bjorkholm, P. W. Smith, W. J. Tomlinson, and A. E. Kaplan, “Optical Bistability Based on Self-focusing”, Opt. Lett. 6, 345, (1981).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    J. E. Bjorkholm, P. W. Smith, and W. J. Tomlinson, “Optical Bistability Based on Self-focusing: An Approximate Analysis”, IEEE J. Quantum Electron QE-18, 2016, (1982).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    See, for example, A. Ashkin, J. M. Dziedzic and P. W. Smith, “Continuous-wave Self-focusing and Self-trapping of Light in Artifical Kerr Media”, Opt. Lett. 7, 276, (1982).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    For a description of the nonlinear characteristics of a liquid suspension of dielectric particle see P. W. Smith and W. J. Tomlinson, “Nonlinear Optical Interfaces” in this volume.Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    P. W. Smith, “On the Physical Limits of Digital Optical Switching and Logic Elements”, Bell System Tech. J. 61, 1975 (1982).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1984

Authors and Affiliations

  • P. W. Smith
    • 1
  • D. J. Eilenberger
  1. 1.Bell LaboratoriesHolmdelUSA

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