Optical Nonlinearities in Semiconductors for Limiting

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I have conducted detailed experimental and theoretical studies of the nonlinear optical properties of semiconductor materials useful for optical limiting. I have constructed optical limiters utilizing two-photon absorption along with photogenerated carrier defocusing as well as the bound electronic nonlinearity using the semiconducting material ZnSe. I have optimized the focusing geometry to achieve a large dynamic range while maintaining a low limiting energy for the device. The ZnSe monolithic optical limiter has achieved a limiting energy as low as 13 nJ (corresponding to 300W peak power) and a dynamic range as large as 105 at 532 nm using psec pulses. ... continued below

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viii, 239 leaves : ill.

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Wu, Yuan-Yen May 1990.

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  • Wu, Yuan-Yen

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I have conducted detailed experimental and theoretical studies of the nonlinear optical properties of semiconductor materials useful for optical limiting. I have constructed optical limiters utilizing two-photon absorption along with photogenerated carrier defocusing as well as the bound electronic nonlinearity using the semiconducting material ZnSe. I have optimized the focusing geometry to achieve a large dynamic range while maintaining a low limiting energy for the device. The ZnSe monolithic optical limiter has achieved a limiting energy as low as 13 nJ (corresponding to 300W peak power) and a dynamic range as large as 105 at 532 nm using psec pulses. Theoretical analysis showed that the ZnSe device has a broad-band response covering the wavelength range from 550 nm to 800 nm. Moreover, I found that existing theoretical models (e.g. the Auston model and the band-resonant model using Boltzmann statistics) adequately describe the photo-generated carriers refractive nonlinearity in ZnSe.
Material nonlinear optical parameters, such as the two-photon absorption coefficient β_2=5.5cm/GW, the refraction per unit carrier density σ_n=-0.8∗10^-21cm^3 and the bound electronic refraction n_2=-4∗10^-11esu, have been measured via time-integrated beam distortion experiments in the near field. A numerical code has been written to simulate the beam distortion in order to extract the previously mentioned material parameters. In addition, I have performed time-resolved distortion measurements that provide an intuitive picture of the carrier generation process via two-photon absorption.
I also characterized the optical nonlinearities in a ZnSe Fabry-Perot thin film structure (an interference filter). I concluded that the nonlinear absorption alone in the thin film is insufficient to build an effective optical limiter, as it did not show a net change in refraction using psec pulses. An innovative numerical program was developed to simulate the nonlinear beam propagation inside the Fabry-Perot structure. For comparison, pump-probe experiments were performed using both thin film and bulk ZnSe. The results showed relatively long carrier lifetimes (>300 psec) in both samples. A numerical code was written to fit the pump-probe experimental results. The fitting yielded that carrier lifetimes (recombination through traps), radiative decay rate, two-photon absorption coefficient as well as the free carrier absorption coefficient for ZnSe bulk material.

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viii, 239 leaves : ill.

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  • May 1990

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  • Aug. 22, 2014, 6 p.m.

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  • May 12, 2016, 7:55 a.m.

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Wu, Yuan-Yen. Optical Nonlinearities in Semiconductors for Limiting, dissertation, May 1990; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc331203/: accessed September 25, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .