Date of Award

Spring 5-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Optical Engineering


Department of Physics and Optical Engineering

First Advisor

Azad Siahmakoun

Second Advisor

Sergio Granieri

Third Advisor

Bruce Black


A photonic switch using two series-connected, reverse-biased semiconductor optical amplifiers integrated onto a single device has been proposed and switching operation has been verified experimentally. The switching operates on two principles; an electrical bistability arising from the connection of two p-i-n structures in series, and the quantum confined Stark effect in reverse-biased multiple quantum well structures. The result is an electroabsorption modulation of the light through the SOAs due to the alternating voltage states. The system simultaneously produces outputs with both inverted and non-inverted hysteresis behavior, with experimental switching speeds demonstrated up to 400 kHz for a reverse-bias voltage of 𝑉𝑅𝐡=2.000V.


I dedicate this thesis to Stephanie. Thank you for your loving support and for helping me through the tough times.

I would like to acknowledge all of the Rose-Hulman faculty and staff, and my fellow PHOE students, who have all helped me in my time at this great school. Without their knowledge, guidance, and assistance I could not have achieved the things that I have today. Specifically, I would like to thank: Dr. Azad Siahmakoun, thank you for affording me a chance to return to Rose-Hulman and pursue a graduate education and research in optics, and for always believing in me. Dr. Robert Bunch, thank you for the years of keen advice and guidance, both academic and professional. Dr. Sergio Granieri, thank you for always being there to help and for encouraging me to pursue graduate education in optics in the first place. I guess you were right all along. Dr. Charles Joenathan, thank you for all of your assistance through the years, and for helping me return to Rose-Hulman to continue my education in optics. Dr. Paul Leisher, thank you for your help and advice through the years. You also strongly encouraged me to pursue a graduate education in the first place. I should have listened. Pam Hamilton, thank for all of your helpful advice through the years, and for always making sure that I was on top of things. Ben Webster, thank you for all of your help and for making my GA work hours much more enjoyable. Roger Sladek, thank you for all of your help and insight on the projects and designs that I have worked on through the years. Your work has helped make my life easier countless times. Sanaz Faryadras, thank you for making the hours working in the lab more fun, and for helping me stay positive. Perhaps most importantly, I would like to thank my family and friends for their loving support through all of life’s journeys.