This work presents an overview of a combined experimental and theoretical analysis on the manipulation of temporal localized structures (LSs) found in passively Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Lasers coupled to resonant saturable absorber mirrors. We show that the pumping current is a convenient parameter for manipulating the temporal Localized Structures, also called localized pulses. While short electrical pulses can be used for writing and erasing individual LSs, we demonstrate that a current modulation introduces a temporally evolving parameter landscape allowing to control the position and the dynamics of LSs. We show that the localized pulses drifting speed in this landscape depends almost exclusively on the local parameter value instead of depending on the landscape gradient, as shown in quasi-instantaneous media. This experimental observation is theoretically explained by the causal response time of the semiconductor carriers that occurs on an finite timescale and breaks the parity invariance along the cavity, thus leading to a new paradigm for temporal tweezing of localized pulses. Different modulation waveforms are applied for describing exhaustively this paradigm. Starting from a generic model of passive mode-locking based upon delay differential equations, we deduce the effective equations of motion for these LSs in a time-dependent current landscape.
We review the dynamics of VCSELs that experience both Polarization-Selective Feedback (PSF) and Crossed- Polarization Reinjection (XPR). Different regimes of regular pulsation were found. For strong enough XPR levels, the VCSEL emission in each of its linearly-polarized components displays a square-wave modulation which regularity is greatly enhanced by small levels of PSF. Such a square-wave is in antiphase for the two polarizations, and it turns out to be stable and robust over broad intervals of current. The frequency of the square-wave is determined by the length of the XPR arm. For weak levels of PSF and XPR, the VCSEL emits a regular train of short optical pulses arising from the locking of the modes in the PSF cavity. The frequency of the pulse train is stable on short time scales, but it wanders with a characteristic time scale of hundreds of roundtrips in the PSF cavity. The experimental results are successfully explained by an extension of the Spin-Flip Model that incorporates gain saturation and the effects of PSF and XPR.