Abstract

Optical bistability with milliwatt cw switching powers was observed in tuned interference filters, based on band-gap-selected amorphous Si–C alloys in combination with layers of amorphous silicon nitride. Thermally induced optical switching by Ar-ion (514 nm) and He–Ne (633 nm) laser irradiation was demonstrated with fast switching speeds of 10–20 μsec. The thermo-optic coefficient dn/dT was measured to be 1.5 × 10−4 K−1 at 635 nm for a bulk sample with n = 2.0 and Eopt = 2.4 eV Values for the nonlinear index n2 and estimated sample temperature rises are also reported.

© 1991 Optical Society of America

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