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Optics Express

Optics Express

  • Editor: C. Martijn de Sterke
  • Vol. 15, Iss. 15 — Jul. 23, 2007
  • pp: 9403–9417

Single-Frequency operation of External-Cavity VCSELs: Non-linear multimode temporal dynamics and quantumlimit

A. Garnache, A. Ouvrard, and D. Romanini  »View Author Affiliations

Optics Express, Vol. 15, Issue 15, pp. 9403-9417 (2007)

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We present an experimental and theoretical investigation of the non-linear multimode dynamics of external–cavity VCSELs emitting at 1 and 2.3 μm. We account for the stable single–frequency and linearly polarized emission by these laser sources, even in the presence of quantum noise and non-linear mode interactions originating from Four–Wave–Mixing via population pulsations in the quantum-wells. This fact is a consequence of the mode antiphase dynamics. Thanks to the high-Q external cavity configuration, the laser dynamics fall into the oscillation-relaxation-free class-A regime. The characteristic time to achieve single mode emission is ~1 ms for a 15 mm long cavity with an antireflection coated structure and no spectral filter, as for an “ideal” homogeneous gain laser. The side mode suppression ratio is as high as 40 dB, close to the quantum limit. The laser linewidth is at the quantum limit, and is ~1 Hz at 1mW output. An experimental value <20 kHz has been established. Under standard conditions, without spectral filtering, the optimum cavity length for highly coherent single mode operation is expected in the range 5 to 30 mm. Finally, for cavity lengths typically shorter than 5 mm, we rather have an “ideal” homogeneous gain class-B laser, exhibiting oscillation-relaxation of the intensity in the 0.1 GHz range. These properties contrast with the intrinsic strongly non-linear dynamics of conventional semiconductor lasers.

© 2007 Optical Society of America

OCIS Codes
(140.3430) Lasers and laser optics : Laser theory
(140.3570) Lasers and laser optics : Lasers, single-mode
(250.7260) Optoelectronics : Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers
(270.2500) Quantum optics : Fluctuations, relaxations, and noise

ToC Category:
Lasers and Laser Optics

Original Manuscript: February 26, 2007
Revised Manuscript: May 21, 2007
Manuscript Accepted: May 22, 2007
Published: July 16, 2007

A. Garnache, A. Ouvrard, and D. Romanini, "Single–Frequency operation of External–Cavity VCSELs: Non-linear multimode temporal dynamics and quantum limit.," Opt. Express 15, 9403-9417 (2007)

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