The hysteresis properties in bistable polarization switching (PS) of vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs) induced by variable-polarization optical feedback (VPOF) are investigated numerically. We mainly concentrate on the influence of sweep rate of the polarizer angle on the bistable PS for the cases with different feedback strengths and feedback delays. The output in the time domain and the representation on the Poincaré sphere plot are further presented to describe the two PS processes. The results show that the size of the hysteresis cycle of the PS follows a power-law relationship versus the sweep rate of the polarizer angle, and the feedback strength and feedback delay can modify the hysteresis properties significantly. A larger feedback strength leads to a narrower hysteresis loop, while a larger feedback delay gives rise to a wider hysteresis loop. Therefore the VPOF provides a new method for obtaining the controllable bistable PS in VCSELs, which is potentially interesting for applications that require polarization-bistable VCSELs.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
Original Manuscript: August 17, 2010
Revised Manuscript: October 4, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: October 5, 2010
Published: November 4, 2010
Shuiying Xiang, Wei Pan, Lianshan Yan, Bin Luo, Xihua Zou, Ning Jiang, and Kunhua Wen, "Variable-polarization optical feedback induced hysteresis of the polarization switching in vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers," J. Opt. Soc. Am. B 27, 2512-2517 (2010)