We report on the development of a gain-coupled class A semiconductor laser for dual-wavelength generation via optical switching. A vertical external cavity surface emitting laser (VECSEL) structure is used, because it provides a flexible platform for high-power, high-brightness output in the near-IR and visible ranges. For the first time (to our knowledge), two VECSEL cavities sharing a common gain region are studied. Because the cavities are in competition for common carriers, birefringent filters in the external cavity control the laser cavity thresholds; this configuration demonstrates the possibility of switching between the two cavities, which can operate at different wavelengths. However, in this Letter we also show, numerically and experimentally, that with the consideration of spontaneous emission, it is possible to maintain simultaneous lasing in each cavity at a different wavelength.
© 2010 Optical Society of America
Lasers and Laser Optics
Original Manuscript: June 17, 2010
Revised Manuscript: August 9, 2010
Manuscript Accepted: August 17, 2010
Published: September 7, 2010
Chris Hessenius, Nathan Terry, Mahmoud Fallahi, Jerome Moloney, and Robert Bedford, "Gain coupling of class A semiconductor lasers," Opt. Lett. 35, 3060-3062 (2010)