Optical neuron using polarisation switching in a 1550nm-VCSEL

Hurtado, Antonio and Henning, Ian D. and Adams, Michael J. (2010) Optical neuron using polarisation switching in a 1550nm-VCSEL. Optics Express, 18 (24). pp. 25170-25176. ISSN 1094-4087

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We report a new approach to mimic basic functionalities of a neuron using a 1550 nm Vertical Cavity Surface Emitting Laser (VCSEL) which is based on the polarisation switching (PS) that can be induced in these devices when subject to polarised optical injection. Positive and negative all-optical threshold operations are demonstrated experimentally using external optical injection into the two orthogonal polarizations of the fundamental transverse mode. The polarisation of the light emitted by the device is used to determine the state of the VCSEL-Neuron, active (orthogonal) or inactive (parallel). This approach forms a new way to reproduce optically the response of a neuron to an excitatory and an inhibitory stimulus.