The effect of polarisation on the nonlinear optical properties of a 1550nm vertical-cavity semiconductor optical amplifier (VCSOA) subjected to external optical injection into the two orthogonal polarisations of the fundamental mode has been studied experimentally. Clockwise nonlinear switching with very high on-off contrast ratio between the output states, exceeding 50:1, is reported. It is also shown that the use of polarised light gives a reduction to only some tens of microwatts of the input power requirements needed for clockwise nonlinear switching with high on-off contrast ratio. This represents at least one order of magnitude decrease in comparison with previously reported results either in VCSOAs or in edge-emitting devices. These results offer promise for the potential use of VCSOAs for all-optical signal processing as well as for optical interconnects and all-optical switching/routing applications.
- light polarisation
- optical switches
- semiconductor optical amplifiers
- clockwise nonlinear switching
- orthogonal polarisations
- vertical-cavity semiconductor optical amplifier