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Single Port Optical Switching in Integrated Ring Resonators

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Executive Summary

Semiconductor ring lasers (SRLs) are attractive components for all-optical signal processing. They typically lase bidirectional at low drive current and unidirectional at high current due to gain suppression between the Competing Clockwise (CW) and counter-clockwise (CCW) modes. This unidirectionality can potentially be utilized for bistable operation by switching between the lasing directions. Bistable switching has been demonstrated for various ring designs including circular, racetrack, and triangular with TIR mirrors, and in a variety of laser structures including InGasAs/InGaAlAs/InP, GaAs/AlGaAs [4], and InP/AlGaInAs. Current research in the field by Hill et al. has shown switching speeds can be as fast as 20 ps, and by Calabretta et al. that switching can be directionally independent.

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