Free-Carrier Theory

  • Weng W. Chow
  • Stephan W. Koch


As discussed in the previous chapter, the laser field and the semiconductor gain medium are coupled by the gain and carrier-induced refractive index, or equivalently, by the induced complex susceptibility. To determine these quantities, we need to solve the quantum mechanical gain medium equations of motion for the polarization. In principle, these dynamic equations should be derived using the full system Hamiltonian, which contains contributions from the kinetic energies, the many-body Coulomb interactions, the electric-dipole interaction between the carriers and the laser field, as well as, the interactions between the carriers and phonons. The effects of injection current pumping should also be included. Such a complete theory will be very complicated. Therefore, one often makes approximations that allow one to begin with a tractable treatment that is reasonably accurate and hopefully contains the most important effects. By gradually eliminating the approximations, one works toward increasingly rigorous treatments. In this book, we take such an approach.


Carrier Density Laser Field Gain Medium Gain Spectrum Peak Gain 
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For free-carrier treatments, see

  1. Chow, W. W., S. W. Koch, and M. Sargent III (1994), Chap. 3 in Semiconductor-Laser Physics, Springer-Verlag, Berlin.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Chuang, S. L. (1995), Physics of Optoelectronic Devices, Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Coldren, L. A. and S. W. Corzine (1995), Diode Lasers and Photonic Integrated Circuits, Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  4. Thompson, G. H. B. (1980), Physics of Semiconductor Lasers, John Wiley, New York.Google Scholar
  5. Zory, P. S. (1993), Quantum Well Lasers, Academic Press, San Diego.Google Scholar

Early references of the linewidth enhancement and antiguiding factors include

  1. H. Haug and H. Haken (1967), Z. Phys. 204, 262.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Lax, M. (1968), in Brandeis University Summer Institute Lectures (1966), Vol. II, ed. by M. Chretien, E. P. Gross, and S. Deser, Gordon and Breach, New York.Google Scholar
  3. Thompson, G. (1972), Opto-Electron. 4, 257.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Henry, C. (1982), IEEE J. Quantum Electron. QE-18, 259.ADSCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1999

Authors and Affiliations

  • Weng W. Chow
    • 1
  • Stephan W. Koch
    • 2
  1. 1.Sandia National LaboratoriesAlbuquerqueUSA
  2. 2.Fachbereich Physik und Wissenschaftliches Zentrum für MaterialwissenschaftenPhilipps-Universität MarburgMarburgGermany

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