On the Feasibility of Avalanche Devices for Optical Switching in Silicon

  • S. Cova
  • A. Lacaita
  • M. Ghioni
  • G. Ripamonti
Part of the ESPRIT Basic Research Series book series (ESPRIT BASIC)


We discuss some silicon Avalanche Photodiode (APD) structures where electronic optical nonlinearity could be exploited for optical bistability. The basic idea is to use the avalanching junction as a pilot of other devices where the carriers are effectively stored. We show that these structures can reach a switching power in the milliwatt range. However, thermal effects are always expected to overcome the electronic response if the sample temperature is not kept constant. We show the principle of operation of thermally-compensated structures with switching times in the microsecond range.


Power Dissipation Minority Carrier Carrier Lifetime Optical Bistability Switching Power 
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Copyright information

© ECSC — EEC — EAEC, Brussels — Luxembourg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • S. Cova
  • A. Lacaita
  • M. Ghioni
    • 1
  • G. Ripamonti
    • 2
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Elettronica e Centro di Elettronica Quantistica e Strumentazione Elettronica - CNRPolitecnico di MilanoMilanoItaly
  2. 2.Dipartimento di FisicaUniversità degli Studi di MilanoMilanoItaly

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