Optical feedback from a conventional mirror or diffraction grating is commonly used to reduce the spectral linewidth of semiconductor lasers. Such a stabilization scheme, however, requires precise control of the feedback phase (ie., the external cavity length L) to maintain minimum linewidths and to suppress low frequency jitter. In contrast, for phase conjugate feedback (PCF), such precise control is not needed. The feedback frequency is independent of L and is determined by the pump frequency of the phase conjugate mirror (PCM) which is typically constructed by spectrally degenerate four-wave mixing in a spatially nondegenerate configuration with counter propagating pump beams [1]. In recent theoretical studies [2,3] have revealed that large phase-noise fluctuations in semiconductor lasers can be suppressed by external-cavity PCF if the PCM has a fast time response and the pump beam has small phase noise. Several experiments have suggested that frequency stabilization of laser diodes (LDs) using external PCF is possible [4,5]. In these experiments, however, either the time response of the PCM was slow or the phase noise of the pump beam was large, resulting in mode hopping or limited linewidth reduction respectively.

© 1996 Optical Society of America

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