The nonlinear optics (NLO) of low dimensional systems continues to be an exciting field of research since many issues that challenge scientific curiosity are at the same time of interest for potential applications. Most recent studies have focused on two classes of materials, 2-D quantum wells based on artificially structured layered compounds such as GaAs:GaInAs and a 1-D semiconductor based on conjugated polymers. The overall NLO properties of the two classes of materials appear to be similar and follow the trends in the optical excitations observed in going from 3-D (bulk) to 2-D (layered structures) to 1-D (conjugated polymers). Whereas the optical nonlinearities associated with excitons in 2-D quantum wells have been extensively investigated, experimental studies of optical nonlinearities in 1-D systems have only recently become widespread.

© 1990 Optical Society of America

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