Abstract

Longitudinal spatial effects in the nonlinear medium are analyzed in a model for mirrorless optical bistability due to induced absorption that treats heat conduction, electromagnetic field propagation, and temperature-dependent absorption. We consider two specific cases: the temperature-induced shift of the absorption peak of bound I2 excitons in CdS single crystals and the temperature-induced shrinkage of the band gap in GaAs/GaAlAs quantum-well material. For both cases it is shown that the inhomogeneous spatial distribution of the nonlinear absorption profile along the direction of propagation of the electric field undergoes a first-order-like phase transition commensurate with the transition of the output intensity from one value to another for fixed input intensity. Stability conditions are presented for the steady states of the output intensity as a function of the input intensity for the cases treated. There is a multiplicity of bistability curves, and the stability analysis produced the expected branches of stable solutions.

© 1988 Optical Society of America

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