Nipi structures with multiple quantum well (MQW) intrinsic regions, called nipi-MQW structures, have the outstanding feature that large absorption and refractive index modulation are obtained at low optical intensities.1,2 We report the first demonstration of switching in a GaAs/AlGaAs nipi-MQW structure induced by increasing absorption. It should be emphasized that the all-optical switching is obtained at an extremely low intensity and is caused by a completely intrinsic carrier effect. No external electrical or optical bias is applied to the sample or is any external electrical or optical feedback needed. We also report on the unusually fast carrier spreading characteristics in the nipi-MQW structure.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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