Abrupt turn-on and hysteresis in a VCSEL with frequency-selective optical feedback

Alexander Naumenko, Natalia Loiko, Markus Sondermann, Karl Jentsch, Thorsten Ackemann

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19 Citations (Scopus)
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The emission characteristics of a vertical-cavity surface-emitting laser (VCSEL) operated in a single-transverse mode and coupled to an external cavity with a diffraction grating as a frequency-selective element are analyzed experimentally, numerically and analytically. The experiments yield a rather abrupt turn-on of the VCSEL to a high-amplitude emission state and hysteresis phenomena. The experimental results are explained by numerical simulations and analytical calculations demonstrating the possibility of bistability between lasing and non-lasing states close to threshold. Hence, the scheme might be useful in all-optical photonic switching applications. A detailed bifurcation analysis near threshold is given by superimposing the numerical results with analytical steady-state curves. The mode selection and switching behavior obtained in the simulations can be interpreted from the point of view of the preference of states with the minimal total losses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)823-833
Number of pages11
JournalOptics Communications
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 15 Mar 2006


  • vcsel
  • filtered feedback
  • external cavity
  • polarization
  • switching
  • surface-emitting lasers
  • cavity semiconductor lasers


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