Optical bistability induced by mirror absorption: measurement of absorption coefficients at the sub-ppm level

Opt Lett. 1997 Sep 15;22(18):1433-5. doi: 10.1364/ol.22.001433.


We have observed optical bistability caused by absorption-induced thermal expansion of mirrors forming a Fabry-Perot interferometer. From the resulting anomalous transmission line shapes, absorption coefficients of the mirror coatings as low as 0.2parts in 10(6) (ppm) have been successfully measured.