Photonic switching based on the photoinduced birefringence in bacteriorhodopsin films

Huang, Yuhua; Wu, Shin-Tson; Zhao, Youyuan
March 2004
Applied Physics Letters;3/22/2004, Vol. 84 Issue 12, p2028
Academic Journal
Photoinduced birefringence in bacteriorhodopsin films was investigated using pump–probe method and its application for photonic switching explored. A diode-pumped second-harmonic YAG laser was used as a pumping beam and a diode laser at λ=660 nm was used as a probing beam. The pump and probe beams overlap at the sample. Without the pumping beam, the probing light cannot transmit the analyzer to the detector. However, due to the photoinduced anisotropy, a portion of the probing light is detected when the pumping beam is present. Since λ=660 nm is far from the absorption peak (∼570 nm) of the ground state, the photoinduced birefringence predominates. Using the intensity-dependent photoinduced birefringence in a bacteriorhodopsin film, we have demonstrated a photonic switch with ∼1000:1 contrast ratio, ∼0.6 s rise time and ∼1.5 s decay time. © 2004 American Institute of Physics.


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