Real-time frequency dynamics and high-resolution spectra of a semiconductor laser with delayed feedback

Brunner, Daniel; Porte, Xavier; Soriano, Miguel C.; Fischer, Ingo
Scientific Reports 2, 732 (2012)

The unstable emission of semiconductor lasers due to delayed optical feedback is characterized by combined intensity and frequency dynamics. Nevertheless, real-time experimental investigations have so far been restricted to measurements of intensity dynamics only. Detailed analysis and comparison with numerical models, therefore, have suffered from limited experimental information. Here, we report the simultaneous determination of the lasers optical emission intensity and emission frequency with high temporal resolution. The frequency dynamics is made accessible using a heterodyne detection scheme, in which a beat signal between the delayed feedback laser and a reference laser is created. Our experiment provides insight into the overall spectral drift on nanosecond timescales, the spectral distribution of the unstable pulsations and the role of the individual external cavity modes. This opens new perspectives for the analysis, understanding and functional utilization of delayed feedback semiconductor lasers.

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