Exploiting Nonlinearity and Noised in Optical Tweezers and Semiconductor Lasers

Sandro Perrone, Presentation date: February 7, 2014

Author: Sandro Perrone
Title: Exploiting Nonlinearity and Noised in Optical Tweezers and
Director: C. Masoller and R. Vilaseca
Presentation date: February 7, 2014
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Abstract: This thesis is focused on the study of stochastic and nonlinear dynamics in optical systems. First, we study experimentally the dynamics of a Brownian nanometer particle in an optical trap subjected to an external forcing. Specifically, we consider the effects of parametric noise added to a monostable or bistable optical trap and discovered a new effect which we named stochastic resonant damping (SRD). SRD concerns the minimization of the output variance position of a particle held in a harmonic trap, when an external parametric noise was added to the position trap. We compared the classical stochastic resonance (SR) with SRD and found that they are two phenomena which coexist in the same system but in different regimes. The experimentally studied monostable system showed a maximum in the signal to noise ratio, a clear signature of a resonance. We also developed a new technique to increase 10-fold the detection range of the quadrant photodiode that we used in this study, which exploits the channel crosstalk. Second, we study the stochastic dynamics of a type of semiconductor laser (SCL), known as vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL), that exhibits polarization bistability and hysteresis, either when the injection current or when the optically injected power are varied. We have shown how these properties can be exploited for logic operations due to the effect of the spontaneous emission noise. Two logical input signals have been encoded in three levels of optically injected power from a master laser, and the logical output response was decoded from the emitted polarization of the injected VCSEL. Correct and robust operation was obtained when the three levels of injected power were adjusted to favor one polarization at two levels and to favor the orthogonal polarization at the third level. We numerically demonstrated that the VCSEL-based logic operator allows to reproduce the truth table for the OR and NOR logic operators, while the extension to AND and NAND is straightforward. With this all-optical configuration we have been able to reduce the minimum bit time required for correct operation from 30 ns, obtained in a previous work with an optoelectronic configuration, to 5 ns. The third focus of this thesis is the study of the chaotic nonlinear dynamics of a SCL optically injected, in the regime where it can display sporadic huge intensities pulses, referred to as Rogue Waves (RWs). We found that, when adding optical noise, the region where RWs appear becomes wider. This behavior is observed for high enough noise; however, on the contrary, for very weak noise we found that noise diminishes the number of RW events in certain regions. In order to suppress or induce extreme pulses, we investigated the effects of an external periodic modulation of the laser current. We found that the modulation at specific frequencies modifies the dynamics from chaotic to periodic. Depending on the parameter region, current modulation can contribute to an increased threshold for RWs. Therefore, we concluded that the modulation can be effective for suppressing the RWs dynamics.