Integrated Quantum Well Switching Devices

  • David A. B. Miller
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (NSSB, volume 194)


Over the past several years, quantum wells have shown themselves to be an important and exciting model system for investigating the physics and applications of quantum confinement for optical switching systems.1-4 Much of this interest is stimulated by the fact that there is an impressive fabrication technology available to make such structures. Together with the interesting physical properties shown by quantum wells, this technology has enabled us to make a variety of novel but relatively practical devices that offer us new opportunities in optical switching. Here I will summarize briefly some of the more recent optoelectronic devices using quantum wells that are based on the unusual electroabsorptive effects in quantum well systems. As we proceed towards more practical devices however, it becomes increasingly important to consider devices in the context of systems, and this consideration is now strongly influencing the directions of work in integrated quantum well switching devices. For this reason, I will start by briefly summarizing some of the more important systems requirements on devices.


Field Effect Transistor Spatial Light Modulator Integrate Quantum Practical Device Bias Power 


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  1. [1]
    For an introductory tutorial review on quantum well electroabsorption and devices, see D. A. B. Miller, Electric field dependence of optical properties of quantum well structures, in “Electro-optic and Photorefractive Materials”, P. Günter, ed., Springer-Verlag, Berlin (1987).Google Scholar
  2. [2]
    For a review of quantum well linear optics and nonlinear effects related to absorption saturation, see D. S. Chemla, D. A. B. Miller and S. Schmitt-Rink, Nonlinear optical properties of semiconductor quantum wells, in “Optical Nonlinearities and Instabilities in Semiconductors”, H. Haug, ed., Academic, New York, (1988).Google Scholar
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    For a review of electroabsorption physics and devices in quantum wells, see D. A. B. Miller, D. S. Chemla and S. Schmitt-Rink, Electric field dependence of optical properties of semiconductor quantum wells, in “Optical Nonlinearities and Instabilities in Semiconductors”, H. Haug, ed., Academic, New York, (1988).Google Scholar
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    For a short review of some recent device work, see D. A. B. Miller, Quantum wells for optical information processing, Opt. Eng. 26:368 (1987).Google Scholar
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    C. R. Giles, T. Li, T. H. Wood, C. A. Burrus, and D. A. B. Miller, All-optical regenerator, Electron. Lett. 24:848 (1988).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    I. Bar-Joseph, G. Sucha, D. A. B. Miller, D. S. Chemla, B. I. Miller, and U. Koren, Self-electro-optic effect device and modulation converter with InGaAs/InP multiple quantum wells, Appl. Phys. Lett. 52:51 (1988).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    D. S. Chemla, I. Bar-Joseph, C. Klingshirn, D. A B. Miller, J. M. Kuo, and T. Y. Chang, Optical reading of field effect transistors by phase-space absorption quenching in a single InGaAs quantum well conducting channel, Appl. Phys. Lett. 50:585 (1987).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    M. Yamanishi, Field-induced optical nonlinearity due to virtual transitions in semiconductor quantum-well structures, Phys. Rev. Lett. 59:1014 (1987)ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    S. Schmitt-Rink, D. A B. Miller, and D. S. Chemla, Theory of the linear and nonlinear optical properties of semiconductor microcrystallites, Phys. Rev. B 35:8113 (1987).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    D. A B. Miller, D. S. Chemla, and S. Schmitt-Rink, Electroabsorption of highly confined systems: Theory of the quantum-confined Franz-Keldysh effect in semiconductor quantum wires and dots, Appl. Phys. Lett. 52:2154 (1988).ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • David A. B. Miller
    • 1
  1. 1.AT&T Bell LaboratoriesHolmdelUSA

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