Interaction-induced mode switching in steady-state microlasers

Li Ge, David Liu, Alexander Cerjan, Stefan Rotter, Hui Cao, Steven G. Johnson, Hakan E. Türeci, A. Douglas Stone

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

We demonstrate that due to strong modal interactions through cross-gain saturation, the onset of a new lasing mode can switch off an existing mode via a negative power slope. In this process of interaction-induced mode switching (IMS) the two involved modes maintain their identities, i.e. they do not change their spatial field patterns or lasing frequencies. For a fixed pump profile, a simple analytic criterion for the occurrence of IMS is given in terms of their self- and cross-interaction coefficients and non-interacting thresholds, which is verified for the example of a two-dimensional microdisk laser. When the spatial pump profile is varied as the pump power is increased, IMS can be induced even when it would not occur with a fixed pump profile, as we show for two coupled laser cavities. Our findings apply to steady-state lasing and are hence different from dynamical mode switching or hopping. IMS may have potential applications in robust and flexible all-optical switching.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-54
Number of pages14
JournalOptics Express
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 11 2016

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Atomic and Molecular Physics, and Optics

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  • Cite this

    Ge, L., Liu, D., Cerjan, A., Rotter, S., Cao, H., Johnson, S. G., Türeci, H. E., & Stone, A. D. (2016). Interaction-induced mode switching in steady-state microlasers. Optics Express, 24(1), 41-54. https://doi.org/10.1364/OE.24.000041