We analyze polarization switching in vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, taking into account a proper semiconductor frequency-dependent complex susceptibility and spin-flip processes. Thermal effects are included as a varying detuning, and gain differences arise from birefringence splitting. We find that, for large birefringence, gain differences between the two linearly polarized modes are preponderant, and switching occurs owing to thermal shift. For small birefringence polarization switching from the high- to the low-gain mode occurs owing to the combined effect of birefringence and semiconductor phase-amplitude-coupled dynamics for a finite value of the carrier spin-flip rate.
© 1999 Optical Society of America
S. Balle, E. Tolkachova, M. San Miguel, J. R. Tredicce, J. Martín-Regalado, and A. Gahl, "Mechanisms of polarization switching in single-transverse-mode vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers: thermal shift and nonlinear semiconductor dynamics," Opt. Lett. 24, 1121-1123 (1999)