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The effects of Rayleigh backscatter feedback from single-mode fibers on the spectral behavior of 1.5μm InGaAsP DFB lasers were measured. Rayleigh backscattering narrows the laser linewidth and induces frequency hops. The probability distribution for finding the laser at a particular frequency is reasonably approximated by a Gaussian distribution which has a width proportional to the laser-fiber coupling efficiency. Laser frequency excursions up to 1 GHz were observed and larger shifts are predicted to occur for stronger laser-fiber coupling. The experimental results agree well With a theory based on the Van der Pol oscillator model.
Date of Publication: May 1986