We investigate theoretically the effects of optical absorption and saturation of the non-linear index of refraction on the bistability of non-linear distributed feedback structures (NLDFBs). By assuming that the Kerr non-linearity saturates in an exponential fashion, we obtain for the first time closed-form expressions for the so-called self-phase and cross-phase modulation terms. Our investigation shows that both absorption and, in particular, saturation significantly affect the bistable properties of this structure and in many cases eliminate this response completely. In some cases, however, saturation alters the NLDFB's transfer characteristics in a potentially useful manner. We find that weak levels of saturation may increase the contrast ratio between the intensities of the high and low bistable states. At increasing levels of saturation, where bistability is no longer observed, we find regimes where the NLDFB structure could possibly be used for optical amplification.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
- Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics
- Electrical and Electronic Engineering