7 February 2007 Active photonic lattices: the physics of coupled microlaser arrays
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An important feature of coupled laser arrays is that the gain in one cavity is modulated by the radiation from another cavity. This is a generic effect under many forms of coupling, including fringe field interactions in closely packed arrays and reflection feedback from external mirrors. Cross-cavity gain depletion can occur in many types of laser arrays, including edge emitting semiconductor lasers, VCSELs and fiber laser bundles. The interplay between frequency pulling and the characteristic cavity oscillations creates a rich behavior, setting the properties of active photonic lattices apart from the well known passive photonic lattices involving radiation interference due to real index variations. The case of planar VCSEL arrays is chosen as generic example for studying the physics of active photonic lattices. Results of theoretical calculations and numerical simulations are presented, addressing the following issues: (a) Non-linear phase-locked Bloch eigenmodes and boundary layer formation for finite arrays (b) Lattice defects, including sites that fail to lase, and defect tolerance (c) Excitation of stable, slow-light, lattice waves and photonic sound propagation (d) Unstable lattice behavior at high coupling strengths, with self-excited array oscillations and chaotic transitions (e) Phase locking in realistic arrays, with random variations in the cold-cavity parameters (manufacturing tolerances), via self-regulated frequency pulling (f) Existence and properties of randomly phase-locked arrays with "fuzzy" eigenmodes.
© (2007) COPYRIGHT Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE). Downloading of the abstract is permitted for personal use only.
Spilios Riyopoulos, "Active photonic lattices: the physics of coupled microlaser arrays", Proc. SPIE 6468, Physics and Simulation of Optoelectronic Devices XV, 64680K (7 February 2007); doi: 10.1117/12.700867; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.700867

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