Applied Physics B

, Volume 75, Issue 4, pp 445-451

First online:

Soliton-like pulse-shaping mechanism in passively mode-locked surface-emitting semiconductor lasers

  • R. PaschottaAffiliated withUltrafast Laser Physics, Institute of Quantum Electronics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Hönggerberg HPT, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
  • , R. HäringAffiliated withUltrafast Laser Physics, Institute of Quantum Electronics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Hönggerberg HPT, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland
  • , A. GarnacheAffiliated withDepartment of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
  • , S. HooglandAffiliated withDepartment of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
  • , A.C. TropperAffiliated withDepartment of Physics and Astronomy, University of Southampton, Southampton SO17 1BJ, UK
  • , U. KellerAffiliated withUltrafast Laser Physics, Institute of Quantum Electronics, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, ETH Hönggerberg HPT, 8093 Zürich, Switzerland

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Abstract.

We discuss a mechanism that allows the formation of nearly transform-limited soliton-like pulses in passively mode-locked optically pumped external-cavity surface-emitting semiconductor lasers. It involves the interplay of positive dispersion and the nonlinear index changes in gain medium and saturable absorber, while ordinary solitons are based on dispersion and the Kerr effect. The obtained quasi-soliton pulses share some of the properties of ordinary solitons (in particular, their stability and near bandwidth-limited nature), while other properties are different. In particular, the pulse duration scales with the square root of the cavity dispersion, and an excessive drift of the laser wavelength must be avoided by proper design.

PACS: 42.55.Px; 42.60.Fc; 42.65.Tg