We have analyzed the effect of the photon energy and temperature dependence of both the gain and the total losses inside the cavity to understand the polarization behavior of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers. The assumption that the losses are dominated by free-carrier absorption in the p-doped mirror is made. Developing a new theoretical approach, we are able to predict different polarization switching regimes in which switching occurs from the high- to the low-frequency mode, from the low- to the high-frequency mode, or both consecutively. All these predictions have been experimentally verified by our measurements on GaAs/AlGaAs proton-implanted vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
B. Ryvkin, K. Panajotov, A. Georgievski, J. Danckaert, M. Peeters, G. Verschaffelt, H. Thienpont, and I. Veretennicoff, "Effect of photon-energy-dependent loss and gain mechanisms on polarization switching in vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 16, 2106-2113 (1999)