Ultrafast non-equilibrium carrier dynamics in semiconductor laser mode-locking

J. Hader, M. Scheller, A. Laurain, I. Kilen, C. Baker, J. V. Moloney, S. W. Koch

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Experimental and theoretical results on the mode-locking dynamics in vertical-external-cavity surface-emitting lasers with semiconductor and graphene saturable absorber mirrors are reviewed with an emphasis on the role of nonequilibrium carrier effects. The systems are studied theoretically using a fully microscopic many-body model for the carrier distributions and polarizations, coupled to Maxwell's equations for the field propagation. Pump-probe measurements are performed with (sub-) 100 fs resolution. The analysis shows that the non-equilibrium carrier dynamics in the gain quantum-wells and saturable absorber medium significantly influences the system's response and the resulting mode-locked pulses. The microscopic model is used to study the pulse build up from spontaneous emission noise and to determine the dependence of achievable pulse lengths and fluences on the amounts of saturable and non-saturable losses and the optical gain. The change of the group delay dispersion (GDD) on the pump level is examined and the dependence of the pulse lengths on the total amount of GDD is demonstrated experimentally. Theory-experiment comparisons are used to demonstrate the highly quantitative accuracy of the fully microscopic modeling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number013002
JournalSemiconductor Science and Technology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2017


  • carrier scattering
  • many-body modeling
  • mode-locking
  • non-equilibrium
  • semiconductor laser
  • ultrafast carrier dynamics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Electronic, Optical and Magnetic Materials
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering
  • Materials Chemistry


Dive into the research topics of 'Ultrafast non-equilibrium carrier dynamics in semiconductor laser mode-locking'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this