An approach based on the finite-difference time-domain method is developed for simulating the dynamics of passive mode locking in vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers (VCSELs). The material response is modeled by the effective semiconductor Bloch equations through a resonant polarization term in the Maxwell’s equations. Nonlinear gain saturation is incorporated through a gain compression factor in the equation governing the dynamics of the resonant polarization. An extended-cavity VCSEL with a quantum-well saturable absorber is simulated, and stable mode-locking pulses are obtained. Fine features of the spatial profile of the mode-locked pulses are also studied within this approach.
© 2004 Optical Society of America
(140.3430) Lasers and laser optics : Laser theory
(140.4050) Lasers and laser optics : Mode-locked lasers
(230.5590) Optical devices : Quantum-well, -wire and -dot devices
(250.7260) Optoelectronics : Vertical cavity surface emitting lasers
Mayank Bahl, Hongling Rao, Nicolae C. Panoiu, and Richard M. Osgood, Jr., "Simulation of mode-locked surface-emitting lasers through a finite-difference time-domain algorithm," Opt. Lett. 29, 1689-1691 (2004)