Microscopic modeling of transverse non-equilibrium dynamics in mode-locked VECSELs

S. McLaren, I. Kilen, J. V. Moloney

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Mode-locked vertical external-cavity surface emitting lasers are promising compact sources for high-power, ultrafast pulses with excellent beam quality and the flexibility offered by an external cavity. Classical models of these lasers use either phenomenological approaches, which rely heavily on experimentally observed macroscopic parameters, or are based on quasi-equilibrium conditions. Although these models enjoy widespread success, they cannot capture the underlying charge carrier dynamics, shown to be critical components of pulse formation and propagation. The Maxwell Semiconductor Bloch Equations capture these dynamics through a coupling of pulse propagation to the field induced polarization within an active semiconductor quantum well. We utilize a transverse implementation of this model to microscopically investigate fundamental Gaussian pulse formation as well as destabilizing effects of pump parameters. These behaviors are directly linked to the underlying charge carrier dynamics. Excess carriers around the pulse's spatial or spectral centers destabilizes the pulse and are shown to lead to the formation of higher order transverse modes and secondary pulses within the cavity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationVertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) X
EditorsJennifer E. Hastie
ISBN (Electronic)9781510632899
StatePublished - 2020
EventVertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) X 2020 - San Francisco, United States
Duration: Feb 4 2020Feb 5 2020

Publication series

NameProceedings of SPIE - The International Society for Optical Engineering
ISSN (Print)0277-786X
ISSN (Electronic)1996-756X


ConferenceVertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) X 2020
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CitySan Francisco


  • Instabilities
  • Mode-locking
  • Semiconductor Bloch equations
  • Semiconductor laser
  • Simulation
  • Transverse

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Applied Mathematics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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