7 March 2014 Exploring ultrafast negative Kerr Effect for self-mode-locking vertical external-cavity surface-emitting lasers
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Abstract
Quasi-stable self-mode-locking of an InGaAs vertical external-cavity surface-emitting laser (VECSEL) emitting around 1020 nm has been observed, resulting in 500 fs pulses at a repetition rate of 1 GHz. The mechanism is attributed to negative ultrafast Kerr lensing in the semiconductor gain structure. Our calculations show that a mode narrowing on the order of 0.5% can be obtained at the concave cavity end-mirror or at the gain medium. This is consistent with experimental observations, as mode-locking can be achieved by placing a (hard) aperture before the concave cavity end mirror inside the VECSEL cavity, or by the soft aperture created by changing the pump spot size in relation to the lasing mode on the gain chip. The pulse train generated by the VECSEL has been analyzed by a fast InGaAs photo diode and oscilloscope, RF spectrum analyzer, and second harmonic intensity autocorrelation. The effect of dispersion on pulse width has been studied, hinting at soliton-like pulse formation.
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Alexander R. Albrecht, Denis V. Seletskiy, Yi Wang, Jeffrey G. Cederberg, Mansoor Sheik-Bahae, "Exploring ultrafast negative Kerr Effect for self-mode-locking vertical external-cavity surface-emitting lasers", Proc. SPIE 8966, Vertical External Cavity Surface Emitting Lasers (VECSELs) IV, 896604 (7 March 2014); doi: 10.1117/12.2040072; https://doi.org/10.1117/12.2040072
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