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1 September 2004 Time scales of polarization switching in different types of VCSELs
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We present a study of the time-scale at which current induced polarization switching (PS) in VCSELs takes place. To this end, we measure the step and frequency response in three different types of PS VCSELs, showing that the dominating time-scales differ strongly from one VCSEL structure to another. We characterize the current-driven polarization modulation frequency response by measuring the critical modulation amplitude necessary to steadily force PS back and forth across the PS point as a function of the modulation frequency. The polarization step response is obtained by measuring the stochastic properties of the delay between the applied current step and the resulting change in the polarization, for various values of the initial and final current. For the studied proton-implanted VCSEL the polarization response is characterized by the thermal relaxation time. The measured polarization response of the air-post VCSEL also shows a clear signature of thermal effects, however PS is not at all inhibited at higher frequencies. In the oxide-confined device studied, there seems to be no thermal influence on the PS at all. Comparing the frequency response and the step response measurements done on the same device leads to similar conclusions and allows us to crosscheck our results. In all cases, we are able to reproduce our experimental findings using a rate-equation model, where PS is supposed to be induced by changes in the gain balance between the two polarization modes.
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Guy Verschaffelt, Michael Peeters, Javier Cordova, Bob Nagler, Jan Albert, Hugo Thienpont, Irina Veretennicoff, Jan Danckaert, Giovanni Giacomelli, and Francesco Marin "Time scales of polarization switching in different types of VCSELs", Proc. SPIE 5452, Semiconductor Lasers and Laser Dynamics, (1 September 2004);

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