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Opto-Electronics Review

Editor-in-Chief: Jaroszewicz, Leszek

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Polarization-bistable vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers: application for optical bit memory

1Graduate School of Materials Science, Nara Institute of Science and Technology, 8916-5 Takayama, Ikoma, Nara, 630-0192, Japan

© 2009 SEP, Warsaw. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 3.0 License. (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0)

Citation Information: Opto-Electronics Review. Volume 17, Issue 4, Pages 265–274, ISSN (Online) 1896-3757, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/s11772-009-0019-6, October 2009

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We summarize recent results on polarization-bistable vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) and their application to optical buffer memory. All-optical flip-flop operation with very low switching energies and high repetition rates is achieved. An optical buffer memory consisting of a two-dimensional array of polarization-bistable VCSELs, in which the bit state of the optical signal, “0” or “1”, is stored as a lasing linear polarization state of 0 or 90°. Input data stored as the polarization states of the first VCSEL are transferred to the polarization states of the second VCSEL. In our experiments with 980 nm polarization-bistable VCSELs, 10 Gbit/s optical buffering, 2-bit optical buffering, and a shift register function have been successfully demonstrated.

Keywords: polarization bistability; flip-flops; vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser; buffer memory

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