Ultimate fast optical switching of a planar microcavity in the telecom wavelength range
We have studied a GaAs–AlAs planar microcavity with a resonance near 1300 nm in the telecom range by ultrafast pump-probe reflectivity. By the judicious choice of pump frequency, we observe an ultimate fast and reversible decrease in the resonance frequency by more than half a linewidth due to the instantaneous electronic Kerr effect. The switch-on and switch-off of the cavity is only limited by the cavity storage time of τcav = 0.3 ps and not by intrinsic material parameters. Our results pave the way to supraterahertz switching rates for on-chip data modulation and real-time cavity quantum electrodynamics.