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Proceedings Paper

Cascadable excitability in optically injected microdisks
Author(s): Thomas Van Vaerenbergh; Koen Alexander; Martin Fiers; Pauline Mechet; Joni Dambre; Peter Bienstman
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Paper Abstract

All-optical spiking neural networks would allow high speed parallelized processing of time-encoded information, using the same energy efficient computational principles as our brain. As the neurons in these networks need to be able to process pulse trains, they should be excitable. Using simulations, we demonstrate Class 1 excitability in optically injected microdisk lasers, and propose a cascadable optical spiking neuron design. The neuron has a clear threshold and an integrating behavior. In addition, we show that the optical phase of the input pulses can be used to create inhibitory, as well as excitatory perturbations. Furthermore, we incorporate our optical neuron design in a topology that allows a disk to react on excitations from other disks. Phase tuning of the intermediate connections allows to control the disk response. Additionally, we investigate the sensitivity of the disk circuit to deviations in driving current and locking signal wavelength detuning. Using state-of-the-art fabrication techniques for microdisk laser, the standard deviation of the lasing wavelength is still about one order of magnitude too large. Finally, as the dynamical behavior of the microdisks is identical to the behavior in Semiconductor Ring Lasers (SRL), we compare the excitability mechanism due to optically injection with the previously proposed excitability due to asymmetry in the intermodal coupling in SRLs, as the latter mechanism can also be induced in disks due to, e.g., asymmetry in the external reaction. In both cases, the symmetry between the two counter-propagating modes of the cavity needs to be broken to prevent switching to the other mode, and allow the system to relax to its initial state after a perturbation. However, the asymmetry due to optical injection results in an integrating spiking neuron, whereas the asymmetry in the intermodal coupling is known to result in a resonating spiking neuron.

Paper Details

Date Published: 2 May 2014
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 9134, Semiconductor Lasers and Laser Dynamics VI, 91341W (2 May 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2051962
Show Author Affiliations
Thomas Van Vaerenbergh, Univ. Gent (Belgium)
Koen Alexander, Univ. Gent (Belgium)
Martin Fiers, Univ. Gent (Belgium)
Pauline Mechet, Univ. Gent (Belgium)
Joni Dambre, Univ. Gent (Belgium)
Peter Bienstman, Univ. Gent (Belgium)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 9134:
Semiconductor Lasers and Laser Dynamics VI
Krassimir Panajotov; Marc Sciamanna; Angel Valle; Rainer Michalzik, Editor(s)

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