Abstract

A scheme of an all-optical nonlinear phase-shifting element is proposed, based on a reflective vertical cavity semiconductor (quantum-well) saturable absorber (R-VCSSA). The nonlinear round-trip phase shift in a low-intensity resonant VCSSA is obtained at an input intensity due to the saturating nonlinearity in index change and optically induced thermal effects. An enhanced large nonlinear positive or negative phase shift incurred in a reflected signal is investigated analytically with the wavelength tuning of the probe signal around the low-intensity resonant wavelength of a Fabry–Perot cavity. The device may be useful in compensating the phase of an input signal, either positive or negative, in long-haul fiber communications. A representative InGaAs/InP quantum-well-based VCSSA is considered to demonstrate the phase shift in the pump–probe configuration. With a device speed of 10 GHz, maximum phase shifts of 0.24 and +0.14rad at pump power of 19.2 mW are observed for the operations at probe wavelengths of 1555.6 and 1557.8 nm, respectively.

© 2014 Optical Society of America

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