A theoretical model is developed for characterizing mode-locking behavior using the variational method. The variational method is applied to three laser-cavity models, and a reduced master mode-locking model is obtained. Characterizing the mode-locking dynamics is the existence of a stable node, stable spiral, or limit cycle in the reduced equations highlighting the regions of a stable mode-locked operation. Fundamental in driving the laser dynamics is the nontrivial phase profiles generated during the mode-locking process. The variational method provides an excellent theoretical framework for optimizing laser performance for a wide range of mode-locking models.
© 2008 Optical Society of America
Lasers and Laser Optics
Original Manuscript: January 15, 2008
Revised Manuscript: April 20, 2008
Manuscript Accepted: April 27, 2008
Published: June 26, 2008
Brandon G. Bale and J. Nathan Kutz, "Variational method for mode-locked lasers," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 25, 1193-1202 (2008)