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Polarization switching to the gain disfavored mode in vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers

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3 Author(s)
Sondermann, M. ; Inst. fur Angewandte Phys., Westfalische Wilhelms-Univ. Munster, Germany ; Weinkath, M. ; Ackemann, T.

We report on the experimental observation of current-induced polarization switching in vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers which is accompanied by a decrease of the total output power at the switching point. The relaxation oscillation frequency also decreases. This switching is interpreted as a switching event from the mode with higher (unsaturated) net gain to the gain disfavored mode. The experimental observations are in qualitative agreement with a nonlinear dynamical model taking into account spin degrees of freedom of carriers in a semiconductor quantum well. Within the framework of this model, we propose an explanation for the origin of a minimum in the effective dichroism observed at the switching point, which might also be relevant for other experiments.

Published in:

Quantum Electronics, IEEE Journal of  (Volume:40 ,  Issue: 2 )